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Whiskeys from Around the World - Sipping the Irish Whiskeys

Whiskey is the prince of distilled spirits, and the
cold dark reaches of the Northern British Isles is
its ancestral home. From there, it set out to conquer the
world. This part covers the first whiskeys, which came
from Ireland and Scotland. Let the Irish and Scots argue
about who invented whisk(e)y first. (More about that “e”
in next article.) Then I examine what happened when Irish
and Scotch whiskeys traveled west and came to North
America with their emigrant distillers. I highlight those
distinctly American whiskeys, Bourbon and Tennessee
whiskey. If your personal preference veers to the north, I
haven’t left you out — Canadian whisky gets a article of
its own. I also tell you about American blended whiskey
and the whiskeys from fairly new markets, like Japan,
India, and New Zealand. All you really need to worry about
is how to enjoy all these wonderful spirits.

* Tracking the origins of Irish whiskey
* Explaining what makes Irish whiskey unique
* Presenting a tasting guide to important Irish whiskeys
* Proposing a tour of Irish distilleries

Entering the Emerald Isle
Ireland is truly special
The warming Gulf Stream comes up from the tropics to kiss its
Atlantic shore, bringing with it abundant rainfall that rarely turns
to snow. On the other side of the island lies the wild Irish Sea,
where 10 to 15 miles of water separate Ireland from England and
Traveling along either coast, the visitor is dazzled by the rich
green of the foliage framing a nearly tropical blue sea, thus earning
Ireland the nickname the “Emerald Isle.” Despite its situation on
the northern part of the globe, Ireland is a fertile land with a temperate
climate that supports abundant crops of grains, primarily
barley, and low-lying mountains with clear mountain streams that
provide more than enough unpolluted water for a unique whiskey.

Tracking the origins of Irish whiskey
You probably know that St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland,
but did you also know that he brought the “worm” in instead? At
least that’s the truth according to tales told over the bar in Irish
After the human race discovered distillation, many missionaries,
commercial as well as religious, took the process with them as they
traveled, introducing to the world the worm, the coils atop a still
that condense alcohol vapors into neutral spirits, which is the first
product of distillation.