Having a Banigan for a paternal grandmother and maternal grandparents both born Sullivan doesn’t automatically qualify me an expert on Irish whiskey. It does, however (in addition to it being this particular time of year), put me in the right frame of mind to do a little research on the subject.
What I learned surprised me. First, that the word whiskey comes from the Gaelic phrase uisce beatha, meaning "water of life." Also, that there is a broader spectrum of flavor profiles across these spirits than I expected to find, with some of them strongly reminiscent of smoky scotch and others carrying sweeter, more welcoming (to my taste) bourbon overtones.
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