It’s an argument that has been raging for centuries. Is the home of whiskey in Scotland or Ireland? Many would say the Scots hold the title, but the Irish have a strong claim.
Whiskey is the Anglicised version of ‘uisce beath’, the Gaelic word meaning water of life and the oldest known written record of whiskey came from Ireland in 1405. Others argue that the Irish invented whiskey but the Scots perfected it. There is no disputing that Irish whiskey has been growing in popularity in recent years.
The Irish Whiskey Industry Association reported an increase of 11.2% globally in 2016 and accounted for more than one-third of Irish drink exports. Whiskey export was worth more than £500 million. This growth in the industry has seen Irish whiskey named as the fastest growing spirit category in the world each year since 1990. Ireland has 16 distilleries in operation and more in the production phase.
Considered Ireland’s most famous whiskey, Jameson Distillery began soon after its manager John Jameson stepped off the boat from Scotland in 1780. After two world wars, the Irish civil war, prohibition and the British trade embargo, Jameson survived the tough times to become a world leading distillery today.
Black Barrel Whiskey – The only triple distilled sweet grain Jameson whiskey. Blended with a single Irish pot still whiskey giving it a rich character with a combination of spice and exotic fruits.
Jameson Caskmates – Matured in stout-seasoned casks to give the whiskey notes of cocoa, coffee and butterscotch.
Jameson Coopers Croze – This whiskey has rich fruit flavours and vanilla sweetness. Floral and spice notes are detectable with an undeniable influence of oak.
Known as the original triple distilled, triple blended whiskey, the distillery opened in 1829 in the town of Tullamore. The distillery takes its name from the founder’s initials, Daniel E Williams, but it was his grandson Desmond who introduced Ireland to blended whiskey. Its distilling and blend gives today’s whiskey a smooth and gentle complexity.
Tullamore DEW – This single malt whiskey is finished in bourbon, port, madeira and oloroso sherry casks giving it light and elegant flavours.
Kilbeggan Co Distilling
The oldest licensed distillery in Ireland, Kilbeggan has been producing whiskey for 260 years from the same buildings with access to local water, grain and turf. The old pot still is 180 years old.
Connemara Irish Peat Single Malt – True to Ireland’s distilling traditions, it has a smooth sweet malt taste with complex peat flavours. Named as the World’s Best Irish Whiskey, Connemara also has a number of gold medals to its name.
The Teeling name is synonymous with whiskey making. Walter Teeling set up a small distillery in 1782 but a more recent generation founded Teeling Whiskey Distillery in 2015 near the original site in Dublin. In just four years the distillery has received 115 awards.
Teeling Single Malt – Aged whiskey matured in five different wine casks including sherry, port, madeira, white burgundy and cabernet sauvignon. Bottled without chill-filtration, so the natural flavours are retained.
Teeling Single Grain – Using column distillation Teeling has produced a clean, smooth and sweet whiskey. Matured in Californian cabernet sauvignon wine barrels, it has acquired strong spicy notes and lush red berries and grape flavours.
Teeling Small Batch – Matured in Flor de Cana Rum barrels for a sweet, smooth and slight wood flavour.
If you like your whiskey smooth, you can’t go past any of these Irish distilleries. If you have any questions about Irish whiskies, contact
the team at Copper & Oak.