How To Drink Irish Whisky Like A Pro? 2 EASY Ways

Feb 23, 2023 - Views: 571

Rating: 4.9 - 53Votes

Knowing how to drink Irish whisky the right way is helpful for you to enjoy this tasty drink type. 

In fact, you can choose to drink it straight or go for trendy whiskey mixers. 

This article will give you a complete guide on drinking Irish whisky properly. Scroll down for details!

A guide on drinking Irish whiskey

A guide on drinking Irish whiskey

What Is Irish Whiskey?

Irish whisky or whiskey is one of the finest styles of whiskey in the world, which is produced entirely in Ireland and has become popular worldwide for its exceptional smoothness.

Irish whiskey is usually distilled from unmalted barley, although it may contain malted barley. 

A closed kiln is used to dry the malt, exposed only to hot air and smoke-free. Fermentation may comprise the additional enzymes to prepare the starch for conversion to alcohol. 

Then, it will be triple distilled in copper pot stills. Some, especially grain whiskeys, utilize continuous stills.

Irish whiskey is typically bottled at 40% ABV (80 proof) or slightly higher. Some can reach 120 proof.

Much of today's Irish whiskey ignores these production standards, introducing peat and different grains and experimenting with multiple types of wood barrels.

Everything you should know about Irish whisky

Everything you should know about Irish whisky

What Does Irish Whiskey Taste Like?

Irish whiskey has a light, fruity taste with light floral notes and a hint of vanilla. The whiskey can mix with special ingredients to create good whisky mixers

With distinctive notes of oak and caramel from aging, it also gets a more nuanced flavor profile.

What Is The Difference Between Irish Whiskey And Scotch Whisky?

Scotch whisky or Irish whiskey, what is the difference between them?


First, their spelling has a difference you should consider. Irish whiskey has an "e" that Scotch doesn't! 

This common misconception is that this is due to subtle differences between Irish and Scottish Gaelic. 

Until the late 19th century, whiskey was spelled without the “e” in most countries worldwide. Even the major Irish distilleries, the largest in the world at the time, followed this practice, as did American distilleries.

Irish whiskey or Scotch whisky?

Irish whiskey or Scotch whisky?

Distillation process

The second difference between them is the distillation process. Scotch whiskey is double-distilled, and Irish whiskey or whisky is triple-distilled. 

What difference does it make? Quite a lot, according to experts. The extra Irish step in the distillation process results in a lighter drink with a smoother taste than usual.


Last but not least, ingredients become one of the criteria to distinguish the two types. 

Scotch whisky or Irish whiskey? Scotch whiskey usually comes in three forms: single malt, blended scotch, and single grain.

  • Single malt scotch: A distillate made in a distillery using single malt barley mash in a pot still.

  • Single grain scotch: Mainly utilized for blended whisky. The use of "single" in this case refers to the fact that the booze was produced at a single distillery.

  • Blended Scotch: Simply a blend of malt and grain whiskeys. This type makes up 90% of the Scotch whiskey market, typically Imperial Blue Whisky. 

On the other hand, Irish whiskey includes single malt, single pot still, single grain, and blended. 

You already know three of these four from the description of Scotch whiskey above, but Ireland does it all by itself in the form of single-pot distillers.

Scotch whisky or Irish whiskey?

Scotch whisky or Irish whiskey?

How To Drink Irish Whisky? 

How to drink Irish whisky the right way? Keep reading the detailed guide for two whisky-drinking styles. 

Whiskey neat

The best way to enjoy Irish whiskey is to taste neat. 

According to Shane Mulvany - an Irish bartender, newcomers may turn to blended whiskeys and single-grain whiskeys for a "smoother, more neutral" flavor profile. 

Sit down, try all of them, and find which one you like best. Level up after choosing a style for further exploration.

The way to enjoy the whiskey neat

The way to enjoy the whiskey neat

You may taste multiple ages from a single producer to understand the effects of time and how whiskey evolves as it ages in barrels. 

Alternatively, explore various examples of the same whiskey style from multiple distilleries to familiarize yourself with the expression of barrel finishes. 

Whiskey cocktails

Irish whiskey-based classic cocktails may not be common, but that doesn't indicate they don't exist or that you shouldn't utilize them in cocktail recipes.

Just remember that choosing the best whisky for cocktails is important.

The Tipperary, for instance, is a chartreuse-spiked variation on the Manhattan that uses blended Irish whiskey as the primary base spirit.

For other styles, you can use single malt in an old cocktail called Cameron's Kick, which is almost a whiskey sour, according to Mulvany. 

Made from Irish whiskey, traditionally blended with scotch, olive, and lemon juice, Mulvany favors the complexity of Irish single malts in this cocktail. 

Drink the whisky cocktails

Drink the whisky cocktails

When it comes to lighter styles of single-grain whiskey, Mulvany keeps things simple and picks highballs. 

You may begin with fresh citrus and ginger ale to explore with flavored tonics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are the 4 types of Irish whiskey?

There are four types of Irish whiskey: single malt Irish whiskey (both unpeated and peated), single grain Irish whiskey, single pot still Irish whiskey, and blended Irish whiskey.

2. Do you put ice in Irish whiskey?

Yes, you do. 

When you want something refreshing and cool in the summer, adding ice to your whiskey may help chill it while balancing the aromatic flavors.

3. What does Irish whiskey mix well with?

You may combine Irish whiskey with the following ingredients to make special mixers:

  • Coffee

  • Lemonade

  • Vermouth

  • Champagne

  • Tomato juice…


We’ve helped you know how to enjoy Irish whisky properly. You can drink it in two types: the whisky neat and cocktails. For each one, you can follow the detailed guide in this article to enjoy its great flavor slowly. 

Hopefully, you’ve got useful information about Irish whisky, a famous drink, and learned how to drink Irish whisky. Stay tuned to Barcode Live for more interesting posts!

Rating: 4.9 - 53Votes


  1. Lakshmi Chandran

    Lakshmi Chandran

    Are Americans wrong to think the only way to drink "single malt" whisky or Irish whiskey is "straight"?

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    1. Kaiden Cruz

      Kaiden Cruz

      Personally, I wouldn't mix any soft drink with a nice whiskey, keep that for the JD's and Southern Comforts.
      An ice cube or a splash of water can enhance the taste, depending on the whiskey and your preference. I'd always put one ice cube in a Powers, for example, because it's much nicer that way, in my opinion. Same with Midleton (cue outrage) But whatever you like is ok

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    2. Keith Gill

      Keith Gill

      There is a lot of snobbery around drinking whiskey. Drink it how you like it.

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  2. Komal Rattan

    Komal Rattan

    I must say you work very hard to create awesome content, once again great stuff

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    1. Barcodelive

      Thanks, I definitely do!

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