Whiskey 101: The Four Types of Irish Whiskeys

30-04-2018 By Whizzky Staff Writer

Irish whiskey is the fastest growing whisky industry in the world. There are four different types of Irish whiskeys: Irish Blend,Single Malt Irish, Single Grain Irish whiskey and the quintessential Single Pot Still Irish. Learn more about these four types of Irish whiskeys below.

Irish Blend

Blended Irish whiskey is Ireland’s most popular export with globally-renowned brands such as Jameson. Irish blends are a blend of single grain and single malt whiskies as well as single pot still Irish whiskey - with its 2 distinctive components, malted and un-malted barley. This definition for Irish blended whiskeys was coined in 1878 by Dublin distillers to make a lighter, more approachable whiskey. Jameson whiskey is one of the world's most recognizable Irish blends.

Single Malt Irish

The rules that govern single malt Irish whiskey are the same as those that govern single malt Scotch. The whiskey must be made of 100% malted barley, from one distillery in Ireland; aged for at least three years in oak barrels and bottled at 40% abv or higher. Single malt Irish whiskey is also double-distilled as opposed to the traditional Irish triple distillation, for example, Teeling Single Malt.

Jameson Whiskey is one of the world's most reconizable Irish whiskeys

Single Grain Irish Whiskey

Single grain whiskeys include whole grains or cereals other than malted barley – such as maize or wheat – and must be distilled at a single distillery. In Scotland, single grain whisky ingredients include malted barley as well as other cereals, malted or unmalted. Irish single grain whiskeys are not as well known as the other types of whiskeys. Teeling is one of the few producers of Irish Single Whiskeys such as Teeling Single Grain Wine Casks whiskey.

Single Pot Still Irish

Single pot still Irish whiskey is a style of Irish whiskey made by a single distillery from a mixed mash of malted and unmalted barley distilled in a pot still. It must also be produced and bottled in Ireland. The mixture of malted and unmalted barley gives the whiskey a distinctive spiciness known as ‘pot still character’. Watch Michael of Midleton explain more about Single Pot Still Irish below.