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The grain bill of Irish Whisky

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The grain bill of Irish Whisky

Postby DaneV » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:25 pm

As the Scots are so proud of there single malts and peated's
and the yanks have their Bourbon with at least 51% corn.
The Canadians use alot of Rye.
But what is the recipe the makes The Irish different form the rest?
I know that they use Oats and unmalted barley.
I've seen molasses and hops. wheat and corn in grain bills as well.

Is there a definitive Irish recipe?
And how different is it from the old country "poteen" or "poitin"

Thanks
Dane V
SLC, UT, USA
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Postby Aidan » Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:00 am

The traditional and distinctive Irish whiskey is a pure pot still, and this is the base for most Irish blends too. It is a basic mix of malted and unmalted barley. They can vary the flavor profile by changing this proportion. For example, I think Powers uses at 60:40 malted:unmalted barley mix (although it could be the other way around). The only general release readily available pure pot stills are Redbreast 12, Green Spot and now Redbreast 15. Blends like Powers and Jameson would have a lot of pot still and some grain.

In days gone by, they also used a small amount of oats and rye in the mash, but this is not done anymore.

Of course, they've also made malt whiskey in Ireland for a long long time at distilleries such as Bushmills and Coleraine (now closed). This was triple distilled.

Cooley makes a double distilled malt whiskey - several of them, in fact.
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Postby Aidan » Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:02 am

Oh, and poteen can be made from anything really. Potatoes, grain, turnips... Needless to say, it's not matured in oak barrels, and this is the difference between grain poteen and whiskey. It is distilled just once, I think. I suppose it's just crude vodka.
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Postby DaneV » Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:26 pm

Very interesting. A friend of mine in the small distilling business here in the states made a Oat/ Malt/ Barley whiskey that was really very good. Unaged as yet but double distilled. I think he used, 50% oats, 25% 6 Row malt and 25% unmalted.
Called it an Irish Style whiskey...
Like I said, very good, with a wonderful sweet aroma.
thanks!
Dane V
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Postby Aidan » Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:17 am

Distillers in Ireland stopped using oats because it made things very hard to clean after a run.

I think your friend got away with a double distillation in this case because of the oats. I believe "pure pot still" is very harsh after just a double distillation and requires one more. I'm not 100% sure about this, though.
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