Republic of Ireland

Once a power-house of whiskey distilling, the Irish distillers refusal to assist American bootleggers during the prohibition period became a contributing factor to the industry's decline.
For a period of time, 1966 to 1988, there was just the behemoth of Irish Distillers which had a strangle-hold on all Irish whiskey, until recently.
Cooley founder, John Teeling, bought the distillery off the Irish Government in 1987 with the idea of selling it later as a going concern replete with whiskey filled warehouses. Yet in a climate of belt tightening by the industry, Teeling eventually had to mothball the distillery. However after an offer by Pernod Ricard was blocked by Ireland's Competition Authority, Teeling managed to convince his backers and in 1995 he fired up the stills again. His approach to the category has led to some fascinating whiskies being made, including Greenore, Locke's and Tyrconnell and a phenomenal growth in interest in Irish whiskey across the globe.
Apart from the Connemara brand, you do not find peat in Irish whiskey. This is due to the fact that distilling became big business in Ireland early on, long before peat cutting was mechanised, so coal and wood were used to meet the demand. Also the powerhouse distillers were urban and had access to coal.
Let's not forget as well that Ireland gave us one of the significant developments in distilling - the column still.This was perfected by Aeneas Coffey in the early 1800s, patented in 1831, and has changed the face of distilling completely, allowing producers to make whiskey cheaply and quickly without sacrificing any quality.
The connoisseur will often head for the pure pot still whiskey style of brands such as Redbreast and Green Spot. Pot still whiskey is defined as spirits distilled from malted and unmalted barley. The resulting liquid has a certain viscosity to it.
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