Difference between Scotch and Irish whiskey in tabular form

difference between Irish whiskey and Scotch whiskey We explain that what is the difference between Irish whiskey and Scotch whiskey with table. Whiskey lovers crave Irish whiskey and Scotch whiskey. The reason for this desire is that these whiskeys are mostly imported from abroad. People may think that these whiskeys are the same as they are originally from Ireland and Scotland, which are close neighbors. Also, some people may think that Irish whiskey and Scotch are different brands.

Irish whiskey and Scotch whiskey are two completely different whiskeys (not from one company) that use different types of barley in preparation. The difference between Irish whiskey and Scotch is that Irish whiskey follows triple distillation while Scotch follows double distillation.

However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both terms on certain parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:

Irish Whiskey vs Scotch Whiskey: Comparison Table

Comparison Parameters Irish Whiskey Scotch Whiskey

Preparedness approach Distillation Mix
Distillation Triple distillation Double distillation
Using copper pots A copper pot apparatus is used for distilling, but not with a wide variety Numerous types of copper pot apparatus are used to distill
Taste Mild flavor with vanilla flavor Fuller and heavier
Barley Unmalted barley used; some grains may also be used Malted barley used in the preparation
Aging period Usually 3 years It can be less than 3 years
Source Originated first Originated later than Irish whiskey
Geography of origin Ireland Scotland
Spelling difference Irish whiskey is spelled ‘Irish whiskey’, meaning the letter ‘e’ is used Scotch whiskey is spelled ‘Scotch’, meaning the letter ‘e’ is not used in the word ‘whiskey’.
Applicable laws The Irish Whiskey Act of 1980 Scotch Whiskey Regulations 2009
Common Brands Jameson, Teeling Single Grain, Bushmills 21 Year Old Single Malt, Green Spot, Writers Tears Pot Still Chivas Regal 12, 100 Pipers Deluxe

What is Irish whiskey?

Irish whiskey, as the name ‘Irish’ suggests, is a whiskey made and originated in Ireland. Irish whiskey was launched in the United States in the early 18th century by certain Irish immigrants. Since then it has become the most popular whiskey not only in the United States but around the world, although it had a certain period of decline in the 19th century. However, Irish whiskey has gained immense popularity as the fastest-growing whiskey since 1990.

Irish whiskey is made from raw, unmalted barley. However, an important aspect is that drying the barley is covered ovens keeps the natural flavor of the barley intact, which eventually results in a great-tasting whiskey.

Irish whiskey usually matures for a minimum of three years. The pot apparatus used in distillation is usually three times the normal size of common copper pots. Irish whiskey is distilled three times. This additional distillation is considered an important factor that produces a smooth and light flavor for the whiskey. Oak, ex-bourbon or sherry casks can also be used in the preparation of Irish whiskey, resulting in classic sweet and spicy flavors.

The use of unmalted barley from Irish whiskey in the preparation has a historical connotation. It seems there was a certain malt tax that used to exist in Ireland. Therefore, whiskey producers used unmalted barley in Irish whiskey. Although the malt tax was later abolished, producers continued to use unmalted barley in the preparation.

The production of Irish whiskey is highly regulated in Ireland through the Irish Whiskey Act 1980, which specifies the basic requirements for the preparation, distillation, and maturation of whiskey. Furthermore, Irish whiskey is considered a protected European geographical indication (GI) under Regulation (EC) No 110/2008.

There are several types of Irish whiskeys, such as single malt, still whiskey, grain whiskey, and blended whiskey. Certain Irish whiskeys can carry an age declaration. These types of whiskeys are considered reasonable and cheap compared to some other whiskeys.

What is Scotch whiskey?

Scotch Whiskey, as the name “Scotch” suggests, is a whiskey made in Scotland. Scotch whiskey is made from malted barley. The malt used is first germinated and then dried. The strongest flavor of Scotch whiskey is attributed to the use of malt ingredients. Scotch whiskey also has a strong and pleasant flavor. Oak, ex-bourbon or sherry casks can also be used in the preparation of Scotch whiskey, leading to classic flavors.

Scotch whiskey is usually distilled twice. However, there may be certain exceptions to these rules in certain distilleries that may adopt triple distillation. Also, the copper pot apparatus used for distilling is more extensive.

Scotch whiskey uses malted barley for its preparation. The malt used is whole. Also, a mixture of various grains could be used. Blending is also a prominent mechanism used when making Scotch whiskey. There is more emphasis on blending in whiskey production. Scotch whiskey matures for two years.

Scotch comes in several types, such as single malt Scotch, single grain Scotch, blended malt Scotch, mixed grain Scotch, and blended Scotch. Scotch whiskey is regulated by the Scotch Whiskey Regulations 2009 (SWR) which specify requirements related to the production, labeling, packaging, and distribution of Scotch whiskey.

Main differences between Irish whiskey and Scotch whiskey

  • Irish whiskey follows triple distillation. Scotch whiskey uses a double distillation process.
  • Irish whiskey is typically aged for 3 years. Scotch whiskey can be aged for 3 years or less.
  • Irish whiskey originated for the first time in Irish history. Scotch whiskey later entered the scene in Scotland.
  • Irish whiskey uses raw, Unmalted barley in its preparation. Scotch whiskey uses malted barley.
  • Irish whiskey does not use an extensive copper pot apparatus for distilling. Scotch whiskey uses a wide variety of copper stills for the distillation process.
  • Irish whiskey has a mild flavor with a lot of vanilla flavor. Scotch whiskey has a strong and heavy flavor.

Final Thought

Irish whiskey and Scotch whiskey have many commonalities and differences. Again, the differences will depend on where the whiskey is made and the ingredients used or the method used in the process. Also, it may be safe to say that no two brands of Irish whiskey or Scotch are the same and that there could be small or significant variations between them.

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