||Until a few years ago, Ireland's whiskey industry found itself floundering on the margins, increasingly becoming a bit player with a couple of solid brands. No longer. While it would be an exaggeration to say that Irish whiskey has undergone a revolution in the past decade, it has certainly been transformed and is now more dynamic than it has been for many a year.|
Irish blended whiskey is the signature whiskey style from Ireland, but it is a different drink entirely from the blends produced in Scotland. In Ireland, a blend is a mix of pot-still whiskey and grain whiskey, and, unlike Scotland, the various whiskies are blended before going into the cask for maturation. Irish blends were traditionally regional, so that in Dublin, it was Guinness and Paddy; in Cork and the southwest, Murphys and Powers. The two main distilleries in the south � the mighty and massive Midleton, probably the most advanced distillery in Europe, and the smaller but flexible Cooley � are complex in that they produce grain and malt whiskies, then blend them all under the same roof, using different combinations of pot-still and column-still whiskeys to make different blends.
Pot still whiskey is a style unique to Ireland, and contains a mix of malted barley and another grain, often unmalted barley, in the initial grist. This is then mashed, fermented and distilled in a pot still, and makes for a rich, oily whiskey.
As is the case in Scotland, the term �grain whiskey� in Ireland tends to refer to whiskey that is made with a grain other than malted barley, and in Ireland it is also taken to be a category distinct from pot still whisky. Grain whisky is most often produced in a continuous still as opposed to a copper pot still. Irish and Scottish grain whisky are very similar, and although Ireland doesn�t produce much of it, Greenore has picked up awards around the world and is a leading player in this category of whisky.