Difference Between Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky
Irish whiskey vs Scotch whisky
Although the alcoholic beverage known as whiskey is manufactured and devoured around the world, it was originally first distilled in Ireland. Whiskey production in Ireland resulted from the bread eating culture where the rural poor would grow grain, and use the mash from the grain to produce whiskey. However, Scotland is credited for refining the most popular grain spirit, and as you may have noticed, it is spelled as ‘whisky’ in Scotland, whereas the Irish prefer to spell it as ‘whiskey’.
One of the key differences between Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey is the distillation process. While Scotch whisky is distilled only twice, Irish whiskey undergoes triple distillation, giving it a marked lightness, and this is done in pot stills that are thrice the size of normal copper stills, hence the uniquely fine drink that is Irish whisky. Scotch whisky uses uninterrupted process stills.
While making Scotch whisky, the barley used is wholly malted, and it is first allowed to sprout, and then it is dried. Peat smoke is used in the drying process, which produces the distinctive Scotch aroma of the whisky. As for Irish whiskey, raw and malted barley is used in the pot still phase. The barley is dried in kilns that are covered, keeping the barley’s natural flavor, resulting in a key quality of Irish whiskey.
In making Irish whiskey, greater importance is attached to the distilling process, whereas for Scotch whisky, the emphasis is laid on the master blender’s skills, where blended Scotch whisky is produced by mixing various mature malt and grain whiskies, hence the process of ‘blending’. The Irish believe in the principle that the ‘skill’ is in forming the right distillates to begin with, a technique they refer to as ‘vatting’. The aging time of the whiskeys differ as well. Scotch whisky is kept in the cask for a minimum of two years, while Irish whiskey is aged for a minimum of three years.
Also, depending on the region where the whiskey was produced, the label on the whiskey will represent that. Scotch whisky can only be labeled ‘Scottish whisky’ if it was produced and matured in Scotland. Likewise, the whiskey made in Ireland is the one labeled as ‘Irish whiskey’.
Scotch whisky is distilled twice, while Irish whiskey undergoes triple distillation.
Scotch whisky uses peat-smoked, wholly malted barley, while Irish whisky used kiln-dried, raw and malted barley.
Scotch whisky is produced by ‘blending’, while Irish whiskey is produced by ‘vatting’.
Scotch whisky is casked for a at least two years, while Irish whisky is kept in the cask for at least three years.
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