Although Irish whiskey often takes a back seat to it’s local cousin, Scotch, it was once the most popular type of whiskey in the world. Currently Ireland has only about 7 active distilleries but it’s popularity is coming back and more distilleries are coming online in the near future (With a current growth rate of about 20% per year).
Most Irish pot still whiskey is distilled three times, while most (but not all) Scotch is distilled twice. Peat is rarely used in Irish whiskey so it tends to have a smoother finish as opposed to the smoky, earthy overtones common to some Scotches (such as the Islays).
There are key requirements in order to be considered Irish Whiskey: the spirit must be distilled in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland (Understandable) and it must be aged at least 3 years in wooden casks not to exceed 185 Gallons.
There are several types of whiskey common to Ireland, including those referred to as “single pot still”, “single malt”, “single grain”, and “blended”.