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I have never been a huge whisky lover (preferring good rum) but I had the opportunity to indulge in a host of Irish Whiskies while in Dublin.  From Bushmills 16, Connemara 12, Fercullen 14, Powers Signature Release....+ a few others. I have to say that I loved them all for both their smoothness and "roundness" ....if that makes sense. 

For the Whisky tragics, what is the general consensus of the differences between Scottish and Irish whiskies?  Do you have a favourite Irish whisky? Edumacate us :D

 

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Not one of the learned whisky folks to any nerdy degree,   but in general I find Irish Whiskys to be more generous in sweetness/approachability.    To me Scottish whisky covers many more 'interesting' spectrums of flavour and character..........the only problem being, that in doing this they inevitably cover profiles that will be marmite to some. 

I value peat monster Scottish whisky's as flavours and experiences,  but I don't think these stark flavours really marry well with being in the pub with your mates.   I find them too cold and bleak.  Irish whisky's often come across much more soft, drinkable, and instantly pleasing

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The main difference between Scotch and Irish whisky is that most Irish whiskies are triple distilled (Cooley's is not).  As far as I know only Auchentoshan among single malts is triple distilled.  Triple distillation theoretically produces whiskey composed of lighter components which accentuate aroma and flavor, which double distillation has more heavy components which accentuate body and mouthfeel.  This is probably enhanced by the fact that Irish whiskey uses a mix of pot still malt whiskey and column still unmalted barley, while single malt scotch is 100% pot still malt whisky.  Irish whiskey can also have a mix of grains (like bourbon can).

To me the final result can be subjective, but there's clearly more of a difference than just an "e".  I liked Irish whiskey when I was new to whiskies, but grew to prefer scotch (and then bourbon and rye) over time.  Irish whiskey certainly tends to be smoother and lighter and character, and for a long time most of it was frankly pretty generic.  But that's changed a lot in the past few years as the worldwide boom for single malts has prompted a growth in craft distilling in Ireland.  There are some damn fine single malts and aged blends from Ireland these days, even from the giants like Jameson's. 

I think there was a genuine qualitative difference not that long ago - now it probably comes down more to personal preference.  There's a lot more mediocre single malt scotch whisky (and NAS too) and a lot more distinctive Irish whiskey than there was 10 or even 5 years ago.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, El Presidente said:

I have never been a huge whisky lover (preferring good rum) but I had the opportunity to indulge in a host of Irish Whiskies while in Dublin.  From Bushmills 16, Connemara 12, Fercullen 14, Powers Signature Release....+ a few others. I have to say that I loved them all for both their smoothness and "roundness" ....if that makes sense. 

For the Whisky tragics, what is the general consensus of the differences between Scottish and Irish whiskies?  Do you have a favourite Irish whisky? Edumacate us :D

 

remind me tomorrow at the vid and i will give you a copy of Explore Whisky which should answer all your questions. just spent today working on the new edition so you'll have to wait for it but they use a lot of the past issue. 

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8 hours ago, Deeg said:

As far as I know only Auchentoshan among single malts is triple distilled.

Hazelburn from Springbank.  Benromach launched a triple distilled expression a couple of years back.

Irish malts are receiving a lot of attention these days, especially the independent bottlings that seem to exhibit more complexity than the official bottlings.  And I find the single pot still Irish whiskies, with their spice notes, to be a singular style well worth exploring.   

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I love Irish whiskey in all it's forms.  In general, it's very approachable, probably due to triple distilling. Some of the higher end products are outstanding, and in my opinion can rival the best whiskey anywhere. Yellow/Green spot are fantastic. Redbreast 21, IMO, is one of the finest Irish whiskeys out there.  It's expensive, but I would say it can challenge any single malt scotch whisky of the same age.

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I have found the the Irish whiskey that is generally available at B&M establishments while traveling, to have more sweetness to them and usually 40%. . I think Bushmills 16 and Redbreast 12 are examples of that. i have actually enjoyed all of the Irish whiskeys i have tried over the years. i may jump into that hunt for the premium offerings as well. So now Redbreast 21 is on the list meat to kill... thanks for that @Stump89

 

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I toured the Bushmill's distillery in Northern Ireland a few years ago. They produce some great whiskies, got to sample some. I think Irish whiskies just haven't received the press of Scotches or Bourbons. There is a big time flavor difference for me, Irish whiskey tends to be lighter in body, sweeter aromatically, and a little smoother (less bite). Since that tour, a bottle of Bushmill's has had a place in my liquor cabinet.

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I love Irish whiskies and have a fair sized collection.

Scotch tastes like paint stripper to me.

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3 hours ago, Cold Smoke said:

I love Irish whiskies and have a fair sized collection.

Scotch tastes like paint stripper to me.

Really the only difference between scotch and Irish is that Irish uses a little unmalted barley in thier mash. This does not get converted to sugar, or fermented so it has the spicy flavor of the bread left over. Very noticeable flavor in Jamo or red breast. Try some bruddiladich unheated whisky. I bet that takes you to a nice Irish flavor of red breast but much smoother for cheaper. 

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