A brief history of Whiskey
Whiskey has had a rich history, believed to have been first distilled in Medieval Ireland and Scotland. Although there is evidence that Irish Whiskey was distilled as early as the 12th century, with Monks bringing back ethanol-based perfumes from Southern Europe. This wouldn’t have tasted like the whiskey we have now, as it was more aromatic, and not aged.
What makes Irish Whiskey unique?
Irish whiskey, or Uisce beatha (‘water of life), is known for a smoother finish, being less smoky and earthy than Scotch Whisky (spelt without an 'e'). Irish Whiskey is made from a blend of malted and un-malted barley, where Scotch whisky is made exclusively from malted barley. Combined with triple distillation, this blend of malted and un-malted grains gives Irish whiskey its smooth taste.
What types of Irish Whiskey are there?
Single malt Irish whiskey
The single malt is similar to scotch whisky, as it is made from malted barley but within one distillery. Irish whiskey is also usually triple distilled, whereas scotch whisky is normally double distilled.
Single pot still whiskey
Being made from a mixture of malted and un-malted barley, single pot still whiskey is distilled in one distillery and was the most common style of whiskey until the 20th century. Single pot still whiskey was replaced as the most common whiskey with the introduction of blended whiskeys. The main difference between this and single malt Irish whiskey is the addition of raw and un-malted grain.
The distillation of grain whiskey is used for more mass production whiskeys. The taste from grain whiskey is usually lighter and has a more neutral taste. Made from a variety of different grains, it is usually made for use with blended whiskeys, but there are some whiskeys on the market that are purely distilled from grain.
By taking a mixture of the other kinds of Irish whiskey, blended whiskey uses grain, single (or sometimes double or triple) distilled malt or single pot still whiskey. Blended whiskey is the most common type of Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky in circulation as it is easier to mass produce and keeps the cost down.
What makes Merchants' Quay Blended Irish Whiskey unique?
Whiskey production is not a quick process; the longer it is aged in wooden casks, the better the taste and different whiskeys use different casks to bring our different flavours in the spirit. To be classified as whiskey, new make spirit needs to be left to mature in the cask for at least 3 years and blended whiskey uses different whiskeys from different casks to create a unique flavour profile.
The three whiskeys – grain, double distilled and triple distilled malts - used in the production of Merchants' Quay Blended Irish Whiskey
are aged in four different casks, to deliver a unique flavour and quality. Before taking a sip, we recommend breathing in the aroma to get the full experience and taste of Merchants' Quay Blended Irish Whiskey. The toffee apple, dark berries and vanilla smells add more depth to the taste, with just a hint of cedar wood. And with tastes of fleshy fruits, honey, oak spice and orange peel it really is a smooth, rich Irish whiskey to enjoy.
To create this unique flavour profile, we use grain whiskey which has matured for 12 months in a virgin American oak barrel, then transferred to a re-char bourbon cask for the next 24 months. We also use double distilled malt, which has been matured in American bourbon casks, and triple distilled malt which has been matured in Oloroso sherry casks.
Why should you buy blended Irish whiskey from Copeland Distillery?
Starting off as a small, crowd funded business, Copeland distillery began in 2016, thanks to our 390 founders. Our intention was to offer a true and authentic taste of Northern Ireland, with innovative tastes and flavour profiles which surprise and delight. Have a question? Don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com
or 028 9162 4000