For Irish Whiskey, the 18th - 20th centuries were a lot like a great heavyweight boxing contender's storyline. Ups, downs, championships, adversity, and final the hurrah. The Daily Shot breaks down over 3 days. Part 1:
The early 1700’s started with the Spirit being a crowd favorite and big potential. The number of cheerful, Irish whiskey loving souls was one on the rise. All was right in the world when the Crown weighed in to levy a smackdown of regulation and taxes. This started a string of losses.
First, an Act was passed to limit the use of ingredients allowed by distillers (malt, grain, potato, sugar). Creative freedom be damned!
The second loss, more like low blow to the groin, was an Act in 1779 to tax distilleries based on potential output. The distillers said screw that nonsense and over the next 40 years the number of registered distilleries fell from 1200+ to 32.
32!..and do you think the Irish quit drinking whiskey? Hell no! The underground whiskey, Poitín, kept the countryside’s cups full. Whiskey was down by the end of the century but had a lot left in the tank...
Tomorrow Shot: The Irish Boxing Champion: 19th Century History. Part 2 of 3.