Episode 3: Illicit Distilling & A Separation In Styles of Whiskey
In Episode 2, we discussed how the course of Irish whiskey forever changed with the passing of the 1661 laws and the subsequent delineation between those that were legally allowed to distill and those that weren't and how this led to a parallel above-ground and below-ground distilling industry.
In the years that followed, a continuing series of legislation changes, acts and heavily enforced crackdowns prompted distilling ingenuity and creativity amongst both camps of distillers in Ireland.
In this episode we’re going to dive into one of the most popular styles of whiskey in Ireland through the 17th and 18th century - malt whiskey. Before pot still whiskey took over the world, a different style of whiskey ruled the Irish Whiskey world, but it’s not a story that can be told without its cousin, poitin.
What we learn about in this episode
- The different meaning of malt whiskey in the 18th century
- Illicit distilling on the Inishowen Peninsula
- Poitin's influence on the evolution of Irish whiskey
- The concentration of malt whiskey production in the North of Ireland
- The gradual shift from peated Irish whiskeys to unpeated styles
- The divergence of the evolution of poitin and Irish whiskey
- The rise of the gentleman distiller
- The differing emerging styles of whiskey around Ireland
- The emergence of Dublin as Ireland's whiskey powerhouse
- The laying of the groundwork for Irish whiskey's global boom
The history of malt whiskey in Ireland before the 20th century is the history of peated malt whiskey in Ireland, full stop. - Fionnán O'Connor
Listen to the full episode, add to your favorite podcast player and download a transcript of the episode below (login required)
Why are all episodes not free?
The Stories & Sips Whiskey Club Model Explained
The first episode of our seven-part podcast series is available free to listen to on any device from anywhere. The remaining six episodes of the series will be available on storiesandsips.com to members of the Stories & Sips Whiskey Club, with a new episode released each Friday.
Membership of the Whiskey Club is open to whiskey fans around the world who want to dive deeper into the world of their favorite spirit. The Whiskey Club is and always will be advertising-free with members paying for the running of the Club and choosing the direction we take with content, whiskey releases and events. This allows us do two things – avoid taking any money/sponsorships (and therefore influence) from whiskey companies and just as importantly, it ensures we can pay each and every contributor to storiesandsips.com.
We pay all our writers, tasting notes contributors, cocktail recipe makers, podcast hosts/collaborators as well as the salary of a full time employee (not Barry!) who manages all content, social media, communication and member support.
We believe that free content deprives talented and experienced contributors of their right to be paid for their experience, time and impact and believe in a model where everybody wins. It's our belief that if something is worth listening to, reading or watching, it's worth paying for.
Membership of the Stories & Sips Whiskey Club costs just $20/month with no minimum subscription period and in addition to membership fees supporting our contributors, it gives you access to a growing library of behind-the-scenes distillery videos and events, the chance to participate in exclusive Club whiskey releases, Club cask programs and virtual events with the leading distillers, blenders and makers from the world of Irish whiskey.
Here is a short clip of our conversation:
You have reached a members-only page of the Stories & Sips Whiskey Club.
If you are already a member, we're delighted you're here and you can log in here to access all areas of your membership.
Not yet a member? Join a growing and engaged community of Irish whiskey fans from across the world and participate in our live and virtual Whiskey Club events as soon as you join and get access to our exclusive Club whiskeys and casks. No long-term contracts. Cancel anytime.