Ever wondered what’s the difference between Scotch Whisky and Irish Whiskey other than its place of origin and spelling? et’s discuss the main factors!
Irish History, Distillation, and Taste:
Ireland and Scotland may be close to each other, but they have produced distinct types of whiskey that they couldn’t even agree on the spelling! Take a look:
Theories suggest that Irish Whiskey came first. Prototypes were distilled by monks and they evolved from there. Ireland also lays the claim to the world’s oldest distillery in Bushmills which was officially registered in 1608. However, Scotland quickly caught up in the production of whisky. The Industrial Revolution brought the railway to the country and gave better transport links and access to raw materials. They then started to cement themselves as a world leader in whisky.
When it comes to distillation, Irish whiskey is generally triple-distilled while Scotch is generally double-distilled. Oftentimes, triple-distilled whiskeys are described to be smoother and lighter. By refining the spirit over three distillations rather than two, the distiller concentrates a certain fraction of aromatic and flavorful compounds, which results in a lighter drink with a smooth finish.
Another distinction is that Scotch is made with malted barley to taste fuller and heavier. Its flavour profiles can include being smoky and peaty to smooth and fruity. On the other hand, Irish whiskey is made with a combination of malted and unmalted barley that gives it a smooth flavour and hints of vanilla. But of course, not every whiskey fits the stereotype.
Which is the better investment?
Looking at the numbers, Scotch takes up the largest market share by a long mile. In 2021, Scotch whisky exports were worth £4.5bn (roughly €5.2bn). In the same year, Scotch accounted for 75% of Scottish food and drink exports, with 22% of all UK food and drink exports. Given these statistics, is Irish whiskey still a worthwhile investment?
Quick answer: YES it is!
Irish whiskey has shown immense growth these past few years, growing by roughly 300% in the past decade. In 2020 alone, Ireland produced 12 million cases of whiskey and is predicted to produce 24 million cases by 2030.
The demand for Irish whiskey is massive and continuing. The US is the leading importer of Irish whiskey purchasing $ 1 billion worth every year. That’s around 5 million cases of whiskey!
Countries in Asia are also getting a taste of Irish whiskey. In fact, India alone imported 136 million bottles in 2021. With the popularity of Irish whiskey increasing rapidly, and the supply and demand factors pointing the market in the right direction, it’s just wise to invest in Irish whiskey right now.