irish whiskey production
The two main ingredients of Irish whiskey are barley and pure water, and Ireland is not lacking either one of them.
Harvested in autumn and stocked at the distillery, barley used in the whiskey making process is malted. For this to happen, barley is soaked into water and spread out into malting houses to stimulate germination.
Once barley has started to shoot, it is dried in closed kilns, and then ground at the mill. When ground to fine powder, malted barley is mixed with hot water and cooled down to a certain temperature. To the “wort” obtained in this process, yeast is added to transform sugar in alcohol. Fermentation lasts three days. This liquid is called “wash” and is transferred to a copper still, the “wash still” and undergoes a first distillation. “Low wines”, resulting from the condensation process still contain undesirable alcohols, and go through a second distillation process in the “feint still”. Last residues are eliminated through a third distillation in the “spirit still”.
Drying of barley in closed kilns and triple distillation are specific features of Irish whiskey.
The non-coloured 65° ABV alcohol is transferred to oak casks. Alcohol ages 3 years minimum, mostly 10, and is then blended.
As opposed to Scotch whisky which is a blend of different whiskies, Irish distilleries blend the same whiskey but of different casks and age. Bottled and labelled soon after blending, Irish whiskey is shipped worldwide and has a growing popularity amongst connoisseurs.
Pure pot still
The Pure pot still is a combination of equal proportions of malted and non malted barley then triple distilled in pot stills, hence its name. The Pure pot still is the traditional Irish whiskey.
This original recipe has appeared in the early 19th century and gives the whiskey its personality and highly detailed flavours. Pure pot still whiskey has marked spice and red fruit notes.