In contrast to Scotch whisky production, there are only a handful of working Irish distilleries. The small number of Irish distilleries explains the disparity between the amounts of Scotch whiskies on the market when compared to the number of Irish whiskeys.
When comparing the differences between Irish whiskey to Scotch whisky, people will often say that the difference is that Irish whiskey is distilled three times (producing a lighter flavor), while scotch is only distilled twice. The other argument is that Irish whiskey is not smoky, and Scotch whisky is. These generalizations are accurate for many whiskeys, but not all of them.
Irish whiskeys, like Jameson, contain “single pot still” whiskey. Single pot still whiskey is unique to Ireland. Unlike single malt scotch that is made from malted barley, single pot still whiskey comes from malted and unmalted barley that gives many Irish whiskeys their distinctive flavor.