Irish whisky ( “Fuisce” or “Uisce beatha” in Irish) is a type of whisky produced on the island of Ireland. Like many other famous beverages, whisky, too, was initially produced by monks (this time in Ireland) starting with the 6th century. They called it “uisce beatha” (translation into Celtic of the Latin phrase “aqua vitae”, the water of life). When the English troops occupied Ireland in the 12th century, they borrowed its beverage as well, but uisce gradually became whisky, which, in turn, ended up being a generic term for several related spirits.
Irish whisky used to be the most popular whiskey in the world, with over 30 distilleries in the 1890s; however, following its downfall, only three of them still existed a century later. The late 20th century saw a massive growth in popularity.
The difference between Scotch and Irish whiskey consists in the fact that Irish whisky has a smoother, more velvety finish than its Scottish counterpart, which has dominant notes of smoke and peat. Exceptions, nevertheless, do exist, as there are varieties which share the flavours of both regions.