Irish whiskey. Scotch's longtime rival


Irish whiskey.
Scotch's longtime rival



In no other traditional country is whiskey as beloved by the population as it is in Ireland. Every Irishman is convinced that he and whiskey share the same homeland.


Like Scotch whiskey, Irish whiskey is considered a classic in its genre, and for good reason. But these two types of whiskey are not just dissimilar, they are two completely different drinks!


The Irish are absolutely sure that it was they who invented distillation and the technology of whiskey production. And the authorship in this is attributed to the first Christian monasteries, which appeared in the V century on the island. The Irish proudly claim that their whiskey was invented by St. Patrick himself, the patron saint of the "Green Isle". Irish historical tales tell of this, although there is no documentation to prove their authenticity. Nevertheless, the oldest distillery in Europe - Old Bushmills - is indeed in Ireland. It was built in the village of Bushmills in 1608. However, old people say that whisky has been produced here since 1494, and maybe even earlier. And the drink was first mentioned in an Act of Parliament dating back to 1556.


Producers of Irish whiskey as one of the arguments in favor of its superiority cite the fact that for three centuries Scottish sea robbers raided the "Green Island" just for the sake of whiskey. When the Scots got tired of robbery, they mastered the technology of production on their land and called their drink scotch.


The first large distilleries appeared in Dublin in the XVIII century. Their founders John Jameson and John Power laid the foundations of the original Irish method of whiskey production, which differs from the technology of scotch production. The special taste qualities of Irish whiskey brought it international recognition already at the end of the XIX century. But at the beginning of the XX century it disappeared from the world market. Struggle with England, famine, emigration of peasants, economic crisis of the 20s, introduction of the "Prohibition Law" in the USA closed one of the most profitable markets for Irish whiskey for a long time. Only five of its known producers survived.


After World War II, they united into the Irish Distillers Corporation. This allowed them to support each other: to renew obsolete equipment, expand production, invest in exports. But, nevertheless, the business did not go uphill. In 1966 a new corporation was formed on the basis of the old one. It included firms Jameson, Cork, Power and Tullamor, and later - Old Bushmills. For some time the situation changed for the better, Irish whiskey again appeared on the European market. However, the competition with the English and Scots required a strong ally. In the late 80s of the XX century Irish Distillers became a part of the powerful French concern Pernod-Ricard. This gave the Irish an opportunity to enter the world market. 



Scotch Whisky (Scotch)
Scotch Whisky (Scotch). A little bit of history
Irish whiskey
Irish whiskey. Scotch's longtime rival
American whiskey (Bourbon)
American whiskey (Bourbon). It has its own history...