Irish Whiskey has a long and interesting history. While the exact origins of Irish Whiskey are not known, ancient manuscripts reveal Irish monks practiced the art of distillation during the 6th Century. In the early days, the monasteries where the monks resided were at the centre of life and industry in Ireland. Between the 6th and 9th centuries, the monasteries prospered.
Malted barley is a key component of whiskey production. Malted barley is produced by steeping raw barley in warm water for 40-60 hours at a temperature of 12-15 degrees in order to make the barley think it is spring time in its natural life cycle and the barley begins to germinate. Once this process starts the barley is then dried out so it can be stored for use. In Ireland we traditionally dry out the barley with a dry heat from a closed heat source.
The “Seanachaí” is a traditional Irish storyteller who recited ancient folklore. During medieval times, when most Irish people didn’t have books, the Seanachaí used storytelling to pass down stories from generation to generation through theatrical stories, prose and song.
Coopers, often referred to as artisans of wood, are professional craftsmen who create barrels or casks for whiskey and various other alcoholic beverages, such as sherry, bourbon and wine. The craft dates back to the origins of the wooden barrels themselves. It is estimated that, on average, 6,000 coopers once worked this artisan trade in Ireland, building and repairing wooden barrels for the once-thriving whiskey and beer industries that are now enjoying a renaissance. In fact, Irish Whiskeys and beers have become Ireland’s calling card around the world.