#PowerOf3: 5 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish Whiskey

“Ish-ga ba-ha,” John Quinn repeated slowly to me.

It was my first time trying to pronounce Gaelic. “Ish-ga ba-ha?”

Quinn, Tullamore D.E.W.’s Global Brand Ambassador, a proud Irishman, and also part of the five percent Irish population that is fluent in Gaelic, is in Kenya for a week to share Tullamore D.E.W.’s unique ‘Power of 3’ approach to whiskey making, of which the blending of all three types of Irish whiskey: golden grain, single malt, and pot still – makes this a unique whiskey of greater complexity.

A man of many talents, Quinn is fluent in French and Spanish and also has a working knowledge of Portuguese and Italian, but I didn’t bother asking him to teach me how to pronounce whiskey in those languages. Instead, Quinn bust a few myths about Irish Whisky.

Where did the word whiskey come from?

The word whiskey comes from the Anglicization of the 17th century Irish words “Usice Beatha,” of “water of life.”

When was the word whiskey first used?

The first written record of whiskey comes from 1405 in Ireland, where it was distilled by monks.

Whisky Vs. Whiskey?

Irish Whiskey is spelled with an “e”.  At one time when Irish Whiskey was being copied fraudulently, some of the bad copiers spelt it without an “e”. Distillers ensured that from that point on, all Irish Whiskey would be spelled with a “e” as a mark of authenticity.

How do you spell Whiskey in plural?

In its plural form, Irish Whiskey is spelt “whiskeys”.

Most common tasting notes or personalities of Irish Whiskeys

Irish Whiskey does not use peat so it’s likely to have more fresh and fruity notes, making it easier for whiskey beginners to enjoy. It’s complex, but still delicate.


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