Irish Whiskeys are normally triple distilled; they are traditionally distilled in pot stills although the column still is now used to produce grain whiskey for blends. Irish Whiskey Regulations state that Irish whiskey must be produced in Ireland and aged in wooden casks for a period of at least 3 years (although in practice it is normally aged for 9—12 years). Any age statement on a bottle must refer to the youngest Whiskey used to create that particular blend. Irish Whiskey tends to be broken down into two main varieties: Malt Whiskey, which is made from malted barley, and Grain Whiskey, which is made from grains.
Single Malt Whiskey is a single distilled whiskey, made from a single grain species; unless the bottle specifically states ‘single cask’, you can assume that it contains a blend comprised of many different casks, from many different years. This enables the distiller to purvey a taste and character, which is unique to their own distillery. Any additional age statements or maturation techniques are usually indicated, on the label.
Cask Strength Whiskey (also be referred to as barrel strength whiskeys), are bottled from the cask without being diluted; they are exceptionally rare and normally only the finest whiskies are bottled in this manner.
Single Cask Whiskies or single barrel whiskies are bottled from an individual cask; they are normally labelled with specific barrel and bottle numbers to denote their authenticity. The taste and character of these whiskeys may vary from bottle to bottle despite belonging to the same distillery or brand owing to their unique qualities.
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