Paddy whiskey is the third most popular whiskey in Ireland. It also is a regular fixture in Irish pubs around the world, particularly in America.
The whiskey is produced in Cork, at the same distillery that makes Jameson Irish Whiskey. Both are world-famous Irish drinks, but are actually owned by the French alcohol giant Pernod Ricard, who also own Tia Maria and Jacob’s Creek wine.
Paddy was originally made by Cork Distilleries Company. The whiskey was first produced in 1877, and went by the unimaginative name of Cork Distilleries Company Old Irish Whiskey.
Flaherty made sure everyone knew him
However, five years later a young travelling salesman got a job with the company. His name was Paddy Flaherty. Flaherty would travel from pub to pub in Cork selling his Irish whiskey. He always ensured that every person in the bar got a taste of his drink, even paying for the rounds out of his own pocket.
Flaherty did this to make sure everyone knew his name, and the drink he sold. Landlords felt they had to keep a ready stock of this whiskey after their customers had developed a taste for it.
They would write to the distillery and order more of ‘Paddy’s whiskey’. In 1912, Cork Distilleries Company decided to officially change the name of their drink to Paddy, in honour of their top salesman.
Paddy were the first to bottle their whiskey
Paddy whiskey were also the first company to start selling their product in bottles instead of casks.
In the 1920s and 30s in Ireland, whiskey was produced by distilleries, then put into casks and sold to wholesalers, who in turn sold these casks to pub landlords.
Paddy were concerned that they lost control of their product for one step of this process. They feared any underhand tactics by wholesalers, such as diluting the whiskey before selling it on to the pubs would result in the consumer not getting a top quality product. This would have also been damaging to the Paddy reputation as a respected producer of fine Irish whiskey.
To remove this risk from the process, Paddy began to sell their whiskey in sealed bottles, so that no interference could take place between the distillery and the consumer’s glass.
This was a bold move by Paddy, as the glass was more expensive than the casks. It proved to be a wise decision though, as the whiskey has become renowned for its smooth taste and quality finish.
Seven years matured
It takes up to seven years for Paddy Irish Whiskey to mature. It will rest in oak casks in darkened warehouses for years before being bottled and sold. Paddy say this patient process is what gives Paddy Whiskey its unique taste and colour. During these seven years, 2% of the produce is lost through evaporation. Paddy refer to this as the ‘Angel’s Share’.
Paddy Irish Whiskey can be enjoyed neat or with ice, or with a mixer of your choice.