This trip has seen my eyes opened to not just one but two new single pot stillÂ whiskies: the old schoolÂ Green Spot, and the literary-inspired Writer’s Tears. The pure pot still technique is unique to Ireland,Â whichÂ by 1802 accounted for 90% of the world’s exported whiskey. Pot still – not to be confused with poitin, a high-alcohol content Irish moonshine – developed as a reaction to the BritishÂ taxationÂ on Irish malt. In an effort to avoidÂ theÂ taxes, Irish distillers decided to use a higherÂ percentageÂ of unmalted barley as opposed toÂ maltedÂ barley,Â whichÂ resulted in a very different style of whiskey – one that became highly sought after for its smooth finish. Though once widespread, a number of historical factors including mass emigrationÂ andÂ theÂ war forÂ independence led to a drastic reduction in the number of functioning distilleries. Those thatÂ survivedÂ turned to producingÂ less labor-intensiveÂ blends and single malts. Yet in concert with the food movement which has swept overÂ Ireland the last five to ten years, so, too, has there been increased demand for a more artisanal-style distillation as embodied by Green Spot, Writer’s Tears, and another favorite, Red Breast. The inverted percentage of barleys in the mix makes for a lighter, spicier-tasting drink. If they hit the high notes a bit too hard at first, that’s rectified by a splash of water or a cube of ice. Even better is what happens during the maturing process. At 12 years, Red Breast takes on the woody bass notes and amber hue you’d expect from cask aging. I’d expect in the coming years these other two should fare equally well.