Like its Scottish pendant Irish Whiskey has a long tradition itself. As early as 1608 Royalists got exclusive licenses to distil. This fact also undergirds the Irish self-understanding of being the mother country of Whisk(e)y. A claim Scots naturally do not agree with.
However there is no doubt that the Irish Whisky industry, mostly known for the usage of malted and unmalted barley as well as triple distillation in Pot Stills, faced an unexampled downfall. Various reasons resulted into a very high concentration of Whisky making on just a few locations in the country. About 20 years ago some sort of renaissance of Irish Whiskey starting to happen. Though there is no such thing as an uniform category of Irish Whiskey – too diverse is the Whiskey produced by the remaining distilleries.
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