Special Irish Spirits

Posted by Alayne Gardner-Carimi on

Enduring Treasures
When it comes to St. Patrick's Day, corned beef, cabbage, and green beer may get a lot of attention, but Ireland's true treasure lies in its rich tradition of whiskey-making. Irish whiskey has a long and storied history, dating back centuries, and it's renowned worldwide for its smoothness and unique flavor profiles.
Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails, Irish whiskey embodies the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, offering warmth, conviviality, and a taste of Ireland's heritage. Irish whiskey cocktails are a fantastic way to elevate your St. Patrick's Day celebration. Here’s raising a glass of fine Irish whiskey in true celebration of the Emerald Isle's enduring legacy.
4 Rules All Irish Whiskies Must Follow
  • Must be distilled and aged on the island of Ireland.
  • Must be aged for at least 3 years.
  • Must be aged in wood casks, no more than 700L in volume.
  • Must be distilled from water, cereal grains (barley, wheat, rye, corn) and yeast (Enzymes and caramel coloring can be added).
True of False?
All Irish whiskies must spell their whiskies W-H-I-S-K-E-Y...
FALSE...Although many Irish whiskies spell whiskey with an E, they are not required to according to the Irish Whiskey regulations.
Irish whiskey must be aged in oak barrels...??
FALSE...Regulations state only that the casks must be made of wood.
Irish whiskey must be triple distilled...???
FALSE...While many pot still distillers do, it is not a requirement.
4 Types of Irish Whiskey
Irish Malt Whiskey 
Produced purely from 100% malted barley, yeast and water  no other ingredients can be added to the spirit. Our Lone Hawthorne Craft Beer Batch Irish Whiskey adds a fun twist. This Teeling Whiskey is made from Irish Stout Beer which had been stored in former bourbon barrels, with the malt whiskey then stored in the same casks. This results in wonderfully floral and fruity notes from the Stout that blend harmoniously with the malty sweetness of the whiskey. 
If malt whiskey is labelled ‘single malt whiskey’ then, in addition to the above, it will only include whiskey from a single distiller and will typically carry unique flavor profiles developed from the environment in which it has been produced and matured.  An example of this premium style Irish Whiskey is our Lone Hawthorne Sherry Reserve, Single Malt Irish Whiskey, 17 year—it has a luxurious mouthfeel and with complex  vanilla, sherry, dark fruit, nutmeg aroma and flavor notes.
Irish Grain Whiskey
This whiskey is not confined to barley. A grain whiskey may be produced using either malted or unmalted barley or other grains, including corn, rye, and wheat. Traditionally, these grain whiskies would be added to malt whiskey in the form of a Blended Irish Whiskey.  ”Single grain whiskey” means the whiskey used has been produced in a single distillery, rather than being blended from multiple distilleries. 
Our Against the Grain Single Grain Irish Whiskey is a unique combination of aged Irish Single Grain whiskey, containing 50% Single Grain matured in Bourbon Barrels and 50% matured in Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels. It is a great example of the new creativity of whiskey making in Ireland, because it goes “against the grain” by not blending Grain whiskey with Malt, but instead showcasing Grain whiskey in its own right, as a very interesting and unique expression of Irish whiskey. It also mixes well in cocktails
Irish Pot Still Whiskey
Pot Still Whiskey, previously known as a pure pot still, is original to Ireland and dates back centuries. It originated as a lower cost method of production, by bullking out malted barley with lower-taxed unmalted grains. The mash must consist of 30% malted barley and 30% unmalted barley (green malt), at minimum. If other grains are used in the mash, they cannot exceed 5% of the mash composition. Traditionally, pot still whiskeys are triple-distilled. Again, if the word ‘single’ is added to the title then this means the spirit is from a single distillery. 
Irish Blended Whiskey
This whiskey is, by far, the most popular commercial variant to be produced in Ireland. It is typically lower cost than the above varieties, as different spirits with different age profiles can be blended to give a consistent flavor at high production levels. The whiskey may comprise only pure malts, a mix of grains and barley, or a mixture of either. 
High-Minded Shenanigans
Even St. Patrick would approve of taking your shenanigans up a notch with these Irish Whiskies! We welcome you to our tasting room, to hone in on your selections to fit your palate and your party. Check out our cocktails below. And may we suggest a digestif of Irish Whiskey Liqueur or Café Macchiato Cream Liqueur to pair with your St. Patrick Day dessert selections?

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