If, by chance, you're chatting with one of our bartenders and the subject turns to whiskey — especially Irish whiskey — be ready for a conversation. You see, at Nine Irish Brothers, we take our whiskey seriously. Taste for taste, Irish whiskeys are the purest, most distinct, and memorable whiskeys produced in the world. That, of course, is not surprising, considering the fact that the Irish invented the fine stuff. If you are an uninitiated whiskey connoisseur, we invite you to step up to the bar, ask a few questions, and start appreciating one of Ireland's finest exports.
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Irish Whiskey Condensed to a Few Lousy Sentences:
There are three basic types of Irish whiskey (only those crazy cousins of ours, the Scots, and their Canadian offspring, spell whiskey without the e, as in "Scotch whisky"):
- Single malt (made from a single batch of 100% malted barley),
- Pure pot still (made from a mixture of malted & unmalted barley in small batches)
- Blended (made from a blend of malted barley and non-malted grains such as corn or wheat).
Each type imparts unique flavor characteristics, and each type is favored equally by whiskey experts. Not only were the Irish the first to make whiskey, but Irish whiskey is the oldest distilled beverage in Europe; whiskey came about when Irish monks, who learned how to distill perfumes from the Middle East, found a better use for stills. In fact, the word "whiskey" is based upon the Gaelic "uisce beatha," which translates as "water of life." The Old Bushmills Distillery lays claim to being the oldest licensed distillery in the world since gaining a license from James I in 1608, but now that the John Locke Distillery in Kilbeggan is back up and running, this distinction is up for debate.
Irish whiskeys were considered to be the premium whiskeys until the American prohibition, during which time bootleggers would brew inferior whiskey and label it as Irish whiskey. Scotch whisky gained prominence shortly after WWII, when GIs who served in Europe sampled the tasty beverage. Only in the last few years has Irish whiskey begun to again gain prominence. If you're interested in learning more about Irish whiskey, fill out our email signup form. We'll ring your bell next time we have something scheduled. In the meantime, feel free to browse our selection of Irish Whiskeys:
Our Selection of Irish Whiskeys
Our Selection of Scotch Whiskys
Die-hard aficionados swear that nothing is finer than a whisky made by our cousins, the Scots. Some prefer single malt (one grain used in the whiskey, no blending from batch to batch), with its characteristic regional flavors. But for others, a silky-smooth, well-balanced blended whisky hits the spot. Scotch as a whole is differentiated by the fact that is double-distilled (versus triple (Irish) or single (Bourbon)) for additional purity, and the malt is dried over peat fires, lending it a degree of smokiness and earthiness, depending upon the region. Like its Irish cousin, Scotch is aged first in used bourbon barrels for at least three years. Older, rarer Scotches receive additional aging in Madeira, port, or other casks.