While green beer, corned beef and cabbage, and bagpipes may take center stage during your St. Patrick’s Day festivities, no celebration of Irish heritage is complete without Irish whiskey. And there’s a reason for that. Because of its smoothness, rich flavor profiles, and overall drinkability, Irish whiskey has become one of the top spirits to enjoy year round.
What sets Irish whiskey apart from other whiskeys, and how did this popular spirit almost cease to exist? Let’s take a closer look in our Ultimate Guide to Irish Whiskey.
What is Irish Whiskey?
This one is obvious, but to qualify as Irish whiskey, it must first be born in Ireland. But that’s not all it takes. Much like Scotch or Bourbon, Irish whiskey must follow certain rules to be classified as such. Irish whiskey can be distilled to no higher than 94.8% ABV, and it must be wood-aged for at least three years in Ireland.
Unlike Scotch, Irish whiskeys are allowed to use enzymes with st