What is the difference between single malt and single pot still whiskey?
Single pot still whiskey is similar to single malt in that it is produced by a single distillery, in a pot still, and with barley. It’s an Irish whiskey style manufactured from a mash of malted and unmalted barley brewed in a pot still by a single distillery. The style was characterised by the use of unmalted raw barley to the mash in addition to malt, akin to single malt whiskey.
Irish Single Pot Still whiskeys are made from both malted and unmalted barley and the spirit is distilled in traditional copper pot stills.
It resembles single malt in many ways. The whiskey is made from a single grain at a single distillery, which is the same basic idea.
But single pot differs from single malt in that it can only be produced legally in Ireland and uses both malted and “green,” unmalted barley. Single malt is only made from malted barley and is produced all over the world.
Single pot still whiskey made up the majority of Ireland’s whiskey exports during the 19th century and was the most widely consumed type of whiskey worldwide. However, single pot still whiskey lost appeal as cheaper, softer blended whiskeys proliferated in the 20th century, and many previously all-pot-still firms began producing mixes instead.
What does single pot mean in Irish whiskey?
The origin of single pot still whiskey is found in the Irish disdain for British taxes.
Only a century or so ago, Single Pot Still Whiskey encompassed over eighty percent of the world’s whiskey supplies.
Only at New Midleton Distillery in Cork County, producers of Jameson and other brands, did single pot still production continue when the Irish whiskey industry almost went bankrupt in the 1970s.
Single Pot Still Whiskey cannot be produced in any other nation in the world. It is the original and most traditional method of producing Irish whiskey. Every sip of Irish whiskey is the result of more than 300 years of skill and tradition.
Practice really does make perfect, as they say.
Single Pot Still Irish whiskey brands
Only Green Spot and Redbreast, two specialised bottlings, were still in production in 1980, and one of those was in jeopardy. However, a boom in whiskey production in Ireland in recent years has resulted in the introduction of a number of new single pot still whiskeys.
Redbreast (12, 12 Cask Strength, 15, 21, Lustau Edition)
Dingle Single Pot Still (released in late 2017)
Green Spot, Yellow Spot, and Red Spot
Teeling Single Pot Still (released in August 2018)
Method & Madness Single Pot Still
Midleton (Barry Crockett Legacy, Dair Ghaelach)
Powers (Three Swallows, Signature Release, John’s Lane)