Irish Whiskey is one of the oldest distilled drinks in the European continent and since 1990 has been the fastest growing category of spirit every year. The technology of distillation was proliferated around early Europe by Monks around the 10th century. By the 1200s it had been adapted to the distillation of basic beer into a strong malt spirit by Monks in Ireland. This grew into a cottage industry of home and illicit distillation, which is turn evolved into a more commercial industry - much like what happened with Scottish whisky. At one time Irish Whiskey boasted enormous popularity around the world - particularly in the United States. However, throughout the early 20th centure the combination of American Prohibition, the Irish War Of Independence and subsequent civil war all contributed to its commercial downfall. By the late 1980s there were just three operational distilleries in Ireland making numerous brands and producing a mixture of grain whiskey, single malt whiskeys and pure pot still whiskeys, which were a combination of malted and unmalted ‘green’ malt in the mash. Today Irish Whiskey is enjoying and ongoing resurgence with many newer distilleries starting up. Some excellent examples were produced at Bushmills and Cooley distilleries between 1986 and 1992, casks from these vintages tend to be exuberantly fruity and excessively tropical in character.