Episode 6: The Near Disappearance of Irish Whiskey & The Bold Move That Saves It

August 5, 2022


The column still is now legal, yet widely ignored. Prohibition changes the face of the whiskey industry globally, tariffs and trade wars add a further nail in the coffin and the world discovers Scottish malts. A new century sees the near decimation of the Irish whiskey industry and a rethinking of how it operates if it is to survive at all. 

Distilleries close, distilleries merge and one company makes a giant bet on the future of Irish whiskey.


Irish Whiskey Historian & Co-Host, Fionnán O'Connor, dives deep into Ireland's whiskey past.

What we learn about in this episode

  • The now-legal column still finds a tough audience in Ireland
  • The Volstead Act and the arrival of Prohibition in the United States
  • How Civil War in Ireland and tariffs affect Irish whiskey
  • The Irish government's isolationist approach in the 1940s
  • How Bushmills fared while distilleries in the Republic of Ireland stumbled
  • The steep decline of the Irish whiskey industry through the 1950s and 60s
  • The bold merger that aimed to save the Irish whiskey category
  • The closure of the most famous Irish whiskey distilleries
  • Change of distillates, stylers and the building of New Midleton Distillery
  • The chance for a new start for Irish whiskey


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Here is a short clip of our conversation:




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