Fionnán O’Connor – Ireland’s Pot Still Whiskey Historian – Part 1
Irish single pot still whiskey is in the midst of a welcome resurgence. Once one of the best selling styles of whiskey in the world, its rollercoaster journey has been well documented on this podcast and elsewhere. Though the Midleton distillery was the only distillery in Ireland producing this style from the early 1970s until 2012 when Dingle Distillery began production, today there are more than a dozen producers of Ireland’s unique style of whiskey with more in the pipeline.
Before the available choices of single post still whiskey stretched beyond two – Green Spot and Redbreast 12, one man had fallen in love with both the spirit and its history. Today, Fionnán O’Connor, my guest on the podcast, is recognized as one of the foremost experts on the history of single pot still whiskey.
His book A Glass Apart, published in October 2015, is recognized as the definitive guide to Irish pot still whiskey today.
Aside from being a gentleman and a great wit, Fionnán regularly works with distilleries and whiskey brands advising on historic mash bills as well as contributing articles to books and magazines on the topic of his beloved pot still whiskey.
In the first of a two -part deep dive into single pot still whiskeys history and styles today, I sought to get a deeper understanding of the journey of pot still whiskey from its creation to the present day. I started by asking Fionnán about his first memory of Irish whiskey…I wonder what style of whiskey it could be…..
Fionnán was lucky enough to have an older bottling of Green Spot on hand for this interview. We weren’t jealous in any way…..