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

August 5, 2022

Summary

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

 

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. 

 
 

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. 

Sláinte. 

Monthly Subscription
$20 / Month
No contracts. Cancel anytime.
Access to monthly live and virtual "Meet The Makers" events
On-demand replays of all Tasting & virtual events
Full digital access to all expert articles, features, reviews
Access to Quarterly Distillery & Brand Tasting events
Opportunity to purchase Tasting/Sample Kits for each tasting event (U.S. only/postage payable)
Opportunity to purchase limited run, exclusive Club whiskey bottlings (anywhere in the world)
Opportunity to purchase membership in Club Cask opportunities (anywhere in the world)

Tags