Single Pot Still whiskey has had a tremendous history which ventures from leading the way in the Irish distilling boom to almost vanishing completely when Irish whiskey became less popular.
The main difference between pot still whiskey and single malt is the inclusion of malted and unmalted barley in the mashbill. This combination gives pot still whisky a full, rich and spicy character.
It is thought that the origins of pot still whiskey came about due to the malt taxes of the 18th century. Wiley Irish distillers started to combine both malted and unmalted barley in order to avoid paying tax. They had to be careful though and to make sure that they added the correct amount of each in order to achieve the desired flavour. Due to there flavours Irish whiskey was at one point the most popular spirit in the world but through a series of unfortunate events and decisions it feel on hard times.
In the late 1980s a Irish distilling was re-born. One of the companies behind that (Irish Distillers) is still by far the biggest producer of pot still whiskey. They have some of the of the largest pot stills in the world at their New Midleton distillery and have really re-invented the category over the past decade with their Red Breast, Midleton and Yellow spot releases.