Episode 4: Bigger Stills, Bigger Sales & The World Discovers Irish Whiskey
In this episode we examine the eventful period from the passing of the 1823 Excise Act to the late 1880s, a period that saw the first Irish Whiskey boom, the establishment of distilleries like Midleton Distillery in Co. Cork with the world’s largest pot stills, the troubling potato famine and the fateful abstinence movement combined with the world suddenly realizing the quality and flavor of Ireland's whiskey.
This is the period that made the Irish whiskey industry what we know it as today, from triple distillation to whiskey bonding and the size of distilleries, these all originated from the passing of this fateful 1823 act.
What we learn about in this episode
- The act that shaped the identity of whiskey in Ireland and Scotland
- The establishment of large distilleries
- The opening of Midleton Distillery and the installation of the world's largest pot still
- The effect the horrific potato famine had on the distilling landscape in Ireland
- The arrival of triple distillation to Irish whiskey
- The rise of the whiskey bonder & bottler
- Gentleman distillers and their impact on the cities they operated in
- Ireland receives its first "whiskey influencer" visitor in 1889
- Irish whiskey finds a new audience overseas
- The whiskey boom of the mid 19th century
- The challenge to Ireland's dominance with the arrival of a new distilling apparatus
More than any single piece of legislation, the Excise Act of 1823 shaped the identity of Irish whiskey and shaped the identity of whiskey, full stop, and it was the result of the Poitín Wars. - 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 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.
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.