What's different about Irish whiskey?

The distilling process creates unique and distinctive flavours

Updated: 
Old Distillery in Midleton

In this video, drinks experts Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison explore the distinct flavours of Irish whiskey, describing their specific flavours on the palate and how this is achieved through their distilling processes.

First up is a single-pot spirit - Redbreast from the Middleton distillery in Cork. The huge pot stills and triple distillation method deliver a very smooth and delicate whiskey with notes of marzipan and vanilla.

Single-pot whiskies have a lot in common with their Celtic cousins the single malts - but in addition to malted barley they also contain unmalted raw barley in the mash. Some also contain small amounts of other grains such as oats or wheat.

By contrast, the Pogues blend is designed to reflect the personalities of the band, and produces a light easy-drinking whiskey which is perfect for cocktails - or just a splash of ginger.

Learn more about whisky (and whiskey)
A tasting guide to the Scottish whisky regions
Blended whiskies that taste as good as malt
American Classic: Tasting bourbon whiskey

How to make the perfect Irish coffee

You will need:
Freshly made black coffee - espresso is good
Single or double cream
Sugar to taste (caster dissolves quickly)
Shot of whiskey per glass
Ice cubes
Cocktail shaker (or a large clean jam jar with a tight-fitting lid)

Method:
Pour the coffee into mugs or heatproof glasses and add sugar to taste. Stir well to dissolve completely. Add the shot of whiskey per cup/glass and stir a little. Put 5-6 ice cubes in the cocktail shaker, add cream (2-3 shots per glass). Put the lid on and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds. (You might find it easier if you wrap it in a clean tea towel, but it's less glamorous). Carefully pour the cream on to the coffee at the side of the glass/cup. You shouldn't have to pour it over the back of a teaspoon as the shaking should have added enough air to make the cream float. 'Squirty' cream also works well for the same reason. Enjoy!

More from the Emerald Isle:
How to make gummy shamrocks
Beef and ale pie made with Guinness
St Patrick's Day Guinness cocktail
Traditional Irish potato bread
Guinness stout ice cream
Make your own Irish soda bread

More food know-how:
How to read a whisky label
Cheap ways to get your five-a-day
How to chop an onion
Three steak myths debunked