Single Pot Distillation
Irish whiskey has many differentiating factors from the rest of the world’s whiskeys and one of the biggest of these is its unique style of whiskey, Single Pot Still. While single malts, and indeed single grains, are also produced in Ireland, it is the single pot still that really sets us apart.
Single Pot Still, or Pure Pot Still as it was known before the American FDA objected to the potential misunderstanding of what “Pure” meant, has its roots in tax evasion. During the 19th century the British government, always fans of taxing colonies, sought to squeeze some extra money out of Ireland’s then-blossoming whiskey trade.
As the tax was on “malted barley” the crafty Irish distillers found they could get around it by adding a good amount of unmalted barley to their mashbill. The results were distilled in vast copper pots as is normal but the taste was something completely unique.
What is known widely as “pot still spiciness” generally describes a range of cinnamon, clove and pepper tastes which warm the mouth gently rather than attempting to take a flame-thrower to it. This light-medium spice which lingers on the finish rather than pricking one’s mouth like a dram of pins is highly sought after and justifiably lauded throughout the world by connoisseurs, aficionados and mere humble drinkers alike.