History: Resulting from distillation techniques brought to the Emerald Isle by missionaries during the seventh century, Irish whiskey first appears in the historical record in the 1500s. The nation's once-robust industry suffered from trade embargoes, economic woes and competition from blended Scotch during the 20th century

Specifics: Usually triple-distilled from malted and unmalted barley, blended with grain whiskies and aged at least three years in Ireland or Northern Ireland

Where it's from: Three main distilleries in Ireland and Northern Ireland - Midleton, Bushmills and Cooley

How it tastes: Unmalted barley makes it sweeter than Scotch, while a smoother finish results from drying barley in closed kilns

Common brands: Jameson, Bushmills, Tullamore Dew