Irish whiskey was once the most popular spirit in the world and boasted over 30 distilleries in the 1890s, a century later, this number had fallen to just three. However, Irish whiskey has seen a great resurgence in popularity since the late twentieth century, and has been the fastest growing spirit in the world every year since 1990. Peat is rarely used in the malting process, so that Irish whiskey has a smoother finish as opposed to the smoky, earthy overtones common to some Scotches.