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This isn't a question about typical production: I know that Scotch is often peated while Irish rarely is and that Irish is usually triple-distilled whereas Scotch is usually double-distilled. That's covered well by the question Whiskey - Irish vs. Scottish. This more of a question about whether those processes make a noticable difference to the result.

Imagine a wine tasting: a skilled wine taster can identify the grape(s) and regions from a sip of the wine without seeing the bottle. I guess my question is: could a consuisseur readily identify whether a whiskey was Scotch or Irish from the flavour alone? Are there typical "giveaway" flavours, smells or textures (other than peat) which identify each?

Or, put it another way, if you wanted to showcase a typical range of whiskey styles, could you do it solely with a selection from North America and Scotland, or are there examples made in Ireland of a style unique to that country?

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I'd say yes, but with the caveat that I've only tried a limited number of Irish whiskies (mostly big name brands) and so they might be a bit more varied than I'm aware of.

I'm largely ignorant of what goes into the distilling process of both Irish whisky and Scotch, but what I notice as a taster is that Irish whisky is often very sweet, with more like a sugary or fruity taste to it. I'd normally recommend them to people with a sweet-tooth.

Scotch can be very sweet too, but I find the Sherry versions often with more of a butterscotch/caramel flavour, and if they're well produced the sweetness is usually a bit more balanced than in the Irish whiskies I've tried.

If one was a connoisseur I'd imagine they'd be able to differentiate an Irish from a Scottish whisky a majority, but probably not 100%, of the time. But if someone was a beginner they'd most definitely have trouble.

So to answer your question more directly, if you were to showcase whisky, I would argue that you could do so with product coming out of Ireland, but that it would probably be more on par quality wise with American whisky, than it would Scottish.

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