Irish whiskey has a long and colorful history that dates back to the 6th century when Irish monks began distilling whiskey for medicinal purposes. By the late Middle Ages, Irish whiskey was being produced on a larger scale, often in monasteries and farms throughout the country.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish whiskey became increasingly popular and successful. It was considered to be of higher quality than Scottish whisky due to Ireland's favorable climate and availability of high-quality grains. In addition, Irish whiskey was smoother and less smoky than Scotch whisky as it was distilled using dried, unpeated malted barley.
However, the early 19th century brought an economic downturn and fierce competition from Scottish distillers. This led to the decline of Irish whiskey production and many distilleries were forced to close their doors.
The industry began to recover in the 20th century, but was hit again by Prohibition in the United States which severely limited its export market. However, since the 1980s Irish whiskey has been making a comeback, with new distilleries opening up and old ones being restored.
Today, Irish whiskey is known for its smoothness and unique flavors, and is enjoyed all over the world.