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4 Irish Whiskey Brands to Try on St Patrick’s Day

Irish whiskey has a long and storied history dating back centuries. The earliest records of whiskey production in Ireland date to the 6th century when Irish monks began distilling spirits. By the 12th century, whiskey was being produced on a larger scale in Ireland. Over the centuries, Irish whiskey grew in popularity, becoming one of the most sought-after spirits in the world. One of the key historical factors in the development of Irish whiskey was the introduction of the distillation process by Irish monks. These monks were skilled in the art of distillation and played a crucial role in spreading the knowledge of distillation techniques throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. This early expertise laid the foundation for the development of whiskey as we know it today.

Irish whiskey also has a distinct production process compared to Scotch whisky, which is made in Scotland. Some of the key differences include:

- The Crolly Distillery
- The Crolly Distillery

1. Triple Distillation: Traditionally, most Irish whiskey is triple distilled, whereas Scotch whisky is typically distilled twice. Triple distillation is believed to produce a smoother, lighter spirit with fewer impurities. 

2. Peat Usage: Peat, a traditional fuel source used in the malting process of Scotch whisky, is not commonly used in the production of Irish whiskey. This results in a different flavour profile, with Irish whiskey often being smoother and less smoky than Scotch whisky. 

3. Barley Malt: Irish whiskey often uses a higher proportion of unmalted barley in its mash bill compared to Scotch whisky, which primarily uses malted barley. This can contribute to differences in flavour and texture between the two types of whiskey. 

4. Maturation: While both Irish and Scotch whiskies are aged in oak barrels, there may be differences in the types of barrels used and the duration of maturation, leading to variations in flavour profiles. 

Despite these differences, both Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky are beloved around the world for their unique characteristics and rich histories. The distinctiveness of each type of whiskey is a result of the unique production processes, ingredients, and traditions associated with each region.

The Crolly Distillery 

Located in the west Donegal Gaeltacht village of Croithlí, County Donegal, set between the Wild Atlantic Coast and the stunning Errigal mountain. The Crolly Distillery is a restored historic stone cut building constructed in 1901. They want to connect this part of Ireland with the world through their craft whiskeys, double distilled in Donegal’s first functioning licensed whiskey distillery. Enjoy the rich moments inspired through stories with family and friends, making new connections while having a ‘timlín’ of Croithlí whiskey.

The Muff Liquor Company 

In the early part of the 20th century Philip McClenaghan farmed the bountiful soil in the fields around his native Greencastle. It was here that he grew potatoes. Though Philip was more than familiar with potatoes, little did he know their potential to create some of the finest spirits the world has ever seen. Philip spent many an hour concocting and perfecting his creations, using friends and family as test subjects to get it just right. His granddaughter Laura now continues his storied tradition of making a product born of the land and crafted by hand. Her ambition is to make sure The Muff Liquor Company is a testament to the hardworking values of Philip McClenaghan and his image now rightfully adorns the label.

Dingle Distillery 

Dingle Distillery have always had quality over quantity at the forefront of their thoughts. They never had any interest in distilling enormous quantities of bland whiskey. They understand and respect the concept, it just wasn’t for them. Dingle Distillery are hugely passionate about flavoursome, well-crafted spirit. Their spirits are proudly distilled in Dingle, Co. Kerry on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Dingle is famous for its hospitality, beautiful harbor, amazing local produce and the striking seascapes and landscapes that surround the town.

Old Bushmills Distillery 

Bushmills is home to the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery. Official records stretch back to 1608, when the area was granted its license to distil. Over 400 years later, whiskey is still being made in Bushmills, thanks to experience and craft passed down from generation to generation. They couldn’t make their whiskey anywhere else because water is drawn from the River Bush which flows over beds of basalt rock. Bushmills is more than just a whiskey - it’s a village - where family, friends and neighbours work side by side.

Craig Landale

Previously heading up digital marketing at a large British menswear group, Craig founded Menswear Style 10 years ago. He currently steers the ship and has a keen interest for sustainable brands, product innovation, fashion startups and British manufacturing.

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