A strong case can be made for the belief that whiskey was invented in Ireland, something the Scots don’t necessarily agree with, whether the claim is true or not it does seem certain that at one time Ireland enjoyed a larger share of the global whisky industry than Scotland. For a variety of reasons - from plain bad luck to straight-forward bad management - the Irish whiskey industry lost its grip on the global market and went into decline for most of the 20th century.
The vast majority of Irish whiskey is now distilled at three distilleries - Midleton, Bushmills and Cooley. Cooley also own the Kilbeggan Distillery which recently began production again after years operating only as a whiskey museum. Until 2012 Cooley were the only independent, Irish owned, distillery of any size but having recently been acquired by Beam Global all the major Irish producers are now foreign owned.
Irish whiskey is famous for its often smoother, mellower, style - preferred by fans of a sweeter, softer whiskey. The Cooley brands have won over many followers with their excellent single malt and blended whiskeys, full of character and flavour. Furthermore recent offerings from Redbreast show that there is a lot more to Irish whiskey than the dominant Jameson and Bushmill blends.