Voor vaderdag hebben we een geschenkverpakking van Cooley's op de plank staan. Dat maakte mij nieuwsgierig naar de Ierse distilleerderijen.
Irish whiskey is a whiskey made in Ireland. There are several types of whiskey common to Ireland: Single Malt, Single Grain, Pure Pot Still and Blended Whiskey.
Most Irish whiskey is distilled three times while Scotch, apart from Auchentoshan, is distilled twice. Peat is rarely used in the malting process, so that Irish Whiskey has a smoother finish as opposed to the smokey, earthy overtones common to some Scotches. There are notable exceptions to these "rules" in both countries.
Although Scotland sustains approximately 90 distilleries, Ireland has only four (although each produces a number of different whiskeys): economic difficulties in the last few centuries have led to a great number of mergers and closures. Currently those distilleries operating in Ireland are:
1. New Midleton Distillery (Jamesons, Powers, Paddy, Midleton, Redbreast, and others, plus the independently sold rarity Green Spot),
2. Old Bushmills Distillery (all Old Bushmills, Black Bush, 1608, Bushmills 10-, 12- and 16- and 21-year-old single malts),
3. Cooley Distillery (Connemara, some Knappogues, (the '94 was by Bushmills) Michael Collins, Tyrconnell, and others)
4. the recently reopened Kilbeggan distillery, which began distilling again in 2007 and released samples of its still maturing spirit at 1 month, 1 year, and 2 years worth of aging in 2009 as "The Spirit of Kilbeggan."
Only Cooley and Kilbeggan (owned by Cooley) are completely Irish-owned. Irish Distillers' Midleton distillery has been part of the Pernod-Ricard conglomerate since 1988. Bushmills was part of the Irish Distillers group from 1972 until 2005 when it was sold to Diageo. In addition to the 4 distilleries, there are a number of independently owned Irish Whiskey brands, such Tullamore Dew and The Irishman.