When we think Whisky, the amber nectar, we primarily think of Scotland. Though, there has always been a debate between Scotland and Ireland on where did Whisk(e)y originate, with claiming the honours…!!
Scotch or Irish Whisk(e)y, both are known to be one of the oldest spirits in the world, they have a history that goes back ages. Whisky has dominated the spirits world for generations and has been the spirit of choice, across nations & narrations. We understand that both the Irish and the Scots, mastered the art of distilling and served some of the finest blends in the world. Over the last few decades, the category has recorded an impressive growth. The Irish Whiskey industry is buzzing with activity and the past few years have witnessed an impressive line up of announcements about new distilleries, new partnerships and investments, making promising prospects for the Irish blends. Today Jameson is hailed as the no. 1 Irish Whiskey in the world. Going from grain to glass, Jameson is the finest and has even opened its distilleries for the keen appreciators.
After a very shining history, of being one of the best in the category around 19th and 20th century, Irish Whiskey lost all its prestige and merit. The 1880s, being one of the most dominant, Irish Whiskeys` controlled over 70% of the world’s whisk(e)y market. It was the best selling imported whiskey second only to bourbon. But, then came a downfall so harsh, that Irish Whiskey at a point was considered nothing more than Bath Tub Whiskey. Adding to the whiskey woe, was the high energy marketing by Scots of their premium Scotch whiskies. They all focused their energies into strict quality control and a tight production process that helped them make strong international brands.
Meanwhile, for after hitting rock bottom, there was an astonishing turnaround in the story, in the last decade & the Irish produced some amazing award winning whiskies. Just when the historic Irish distilleries were facing the threat of shutting their doors and Irish Whiskey was known just by its use in the Irish Coffee, there came a sudden revival. Independent distilleries, in southern & northern parts, showcased interest, investment & innovation.
This sudden upsurge came about due to the greater consumer interest in the provenance of the drink; it has become the driving force for creation of a more diverse Irish Whiskey Industry. Some of these historic distilleries, which were even closed for almost two decades, are now delivering what is truly the Irish Spirit. From barley to the water, everything is completely Irish, with innovative packaging solutions & bottles. The revival has witnessed independent distilleries, new investors and even large MNCs re-visiting the Irish story, putting their faith and resources towards the development of these.
Keen interest and resources from huge spirit companies like Pernod Ricard, Diageo and William Grant & Sons has played an important part in giving new life to historic Irish distilleries. Investments from these giants has not only helped the revival of the distilleries but also enabled expansion and increase in production. Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers division has released a range of ‘experimental super premium whiskeys’ from its Midleton distillery in Ireland.
Diageo re-entered the Irish whiskey space with the launch of the Roe & Co. brand. The brand pays homage to George Roe who is credited with building the golden era of Irish whiskey in the 19th century. William Grant & Sons made huge investment in its Tullamore Dew distillery to aid the development of a new grain Irish Whiskey production plant and bottling hall.
One of the key performers on the Irish Whiskey is Jameson – the most popular Irish whiskey in the world, which maintains its status in India as well. Bushmills – draws on centuries-old distilling history, including a royal license to distil whiskey. It is renewing its foothold strong and has been growing for past couple of years. The Red Breast 12 YO and 15 YO are making their presence felt in many bars. The complex Midleton Pure Pot Still Whiskey is enjoying the interest and attention of the more evolved whiskey appreciators. And rightly so, as it is reputed to be one of the best Irish Whiskey bottled. Midleton 25 Year Old Pure Pot Still distilled at the old Midleton plant in 1973 and bottled in the late 1990, created only 1000 bottles and they are becoming increasingly rare.
This growth has allowed the whisk(e)y enthusiasts, an opportunity to explore more labels and select whiskies, which match their palate. Tourists and whisk(e)y enthusiasts have started visiting the Shrine of their favourite whiskies to enjoy the entire experience. As a result, Irish Whiskey tourism is currently a hot trend, with enough distilleries, traditional Irish pubs and whiskey bars to make for an interesting itinerary.
Irish Whiskey is gauged by viscosity, smoothness and subtle sweetness. The beauty of blended Irish Whiskey is ‘sit down and relax to enjoy the phenomenal taste and you will not shudder every time you take a sip’. The nose is generally, full of a light floral fragrance, peppered with spicy wood and sweet notes perfected with a balance of spicy, nutty and vanilla notes. An exquisite blend such as, Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy has nose of spiced apples and pears, with jelly sweets, lemon juice and candied lemon peel. Jameson Caskmates is a head turning modern Irish Whiskey, with the nose of crisp orchard fruits like green apples and pears, mild pot still spices.
Among other blends which enjoy loyal fans is Bushmills Black Bush. Compared to other standard blends this has more depth, richness http://order-cheap-cialis.net/ but also some woody hints. A very high proportion of ex-sherry casks are used giving the whiskey its signature dark colour and delicious flavours of dried fruits, roasted nuts and caramel toffees. Teeling Revival, recently awarded ‘Irish Whiskey Of The Year’ is a limited edition single malt. It is fresh and lively, unmistakably Irish in character with ripe fruits such as pineapple, white grapes, apricots, pears and melon, with a touch of vanilla, honey and a slight apple aroma. Writers’ Tear is another classic example of a poetic Irish blend with oodles of honey’d, fruity notes.
As evident, romance with Irish Whiskey is just picking speed, getting the fancy of young whisk(e)y lovers but it is surely to earn its place in the more matured bar. Hopefully more Irish Whiskey will come to India, shortly, as the Indian market is becoming far more robust & appreciating Irish Whiskey.