Scotland and Ireland are two of the most famous Whisky producers in the world. In spite of the two countries being neighbors, there are some big differences in the two styles of whisky and the way in which they do things.
In the beginning, the Irish people invented whiskey, they then brought it up to Scotland through an area owned by the Irish, now part of the inner-Hebrides, called Delryder.
People in Scotland learned how to distill and make whisky from the Irish. The Scotts did a phenomenal job on their own take on this age-old drink.
The Irish dominated the Whisky market all the way through the 1920’s and up to after World War 2 in the 1940’s. Scotland then took over and has now become the most popular and widely sold whisky. Irish Whiskey has become less popular.
What Is Scotch Whisky?
Scotch is a type of whisky that comes from Scotland.
Scotch Whisky is typically made from malted barley along with other grains. Usually brewed in a copper pot still, then matured for a minimum of three years.
A pot still is a type of distillation apparatus typically used to distill flavored liquors. With the use of pot stills, the whisky is distilled in batches.
This whisky comes in three forms, typically a single malt, a single grain and a blend.
Scotch has a different taste to their Irish counterpart. Usually spicier and more complex with a host of different flavors.
Scotch whisky is better when it is older and had time to age in a barrel. Scotch needs to get older for it to become rounder and full bodied and for it to taste the best.
Whisky drinkers can generally find Scotch in areas all around Scotland from the Highlands to the Lowlands.
What Is Irish Whiskey?
Irish Whiskey is usually made as Single malts in single pot stills. The texture is creamier, smoother and has completely different mouthfeel to Scotch, much oilier across the pallet.
This type whiskey is also much smoother and better tasting when its younger, this is because of the triple distillation process.
What Ireland does differently to the Scotts, is with the single pot still category. Malted, unmalted as well as raw barley is used in the process of making single pot still whiskey and is matured for no less than three years.
Irish Whiskey is better to drink when it’s at a younger age because you can experience the true taste of the barley as it hasn’t been sitting in a barrel and had time to get bitter.
What is the difference?
The spelling of whiskey/whisky is different in the two Countries. The Irish people spell Whiskey with the “E” whereas The Scotts spell it without the “E”
Irish Whiskey is traditionally triple distilled, where Scottish whisky is double distilled.
Because Irish Whiskey is distilled that extra time, makes a huge difference in the taste between Irish and Scotch Whisky.
Irish Whiskey is made with Barley, where Scotch Whisky is made using Malt.
Irish Whiskey can be barreled in any types of casks, where Scotch Whisky is specifically barreled in oak casks.
Irish Whiskey is better when it’s at a younger age, where on the other hand, Scotch Whisky gets better with age.
Irish Whiskey is made using the natural enzymes from the grain in the brewing process, where in the Scottish brewing process, they don’t add enzymes.
In conclusion the thing with Whisky/ whiskey, is that it is based on preference. This doesn’t make one whisky better than the other “Irish & Scotch” this just keeps the tradition alive.
At the Hillcrest TOPS, we have both Irish and Scotch Whisky’s for you to come try and enjoy.
We hope to see you in stores soon!