Barley to glass dream becomes a reality as Clonakilty officially has its own Irish whiskey
A big moment for Clonakilty Distillery founder
Clonakilty Distillery are celebrating a significant business milestone this week as their own spirit legally became Irish whiskey, following a three-year wait since they filled their casks.
(As per legal Revenue requirements, Irish Whiskey must be matured for a minimum of three years and can be marketed with different maturities.)
Patiently maturing over the last three years in their Atlantic Ocean warehouse, the spirit was also distilled at the distillery in Clonakilty using their own copper pot stills.
To add a further local and Clonakilty connection, all the raw barley used within the distillation process was also from farmlands owned by the Distillery, in addition to neighbouring farms in the locality.
Clonakilty Distillery’s own whiskey has been much anticipated in the Irish whiskey community and within trade circles, having already won Best Irish New Make at the World Whiskies Awards in 2020.
Head Distiller Paul Corbett said that while this was in the pipeline for a number of years, it marked a significant turning point for the Distillery and the production of their own whiskey would solidify their position as one of Ireland’s leading distilleries.
He revealed the natural local surroundings of their Atlantic warehouse played a huge role in both the maturing and distillation process and were instrumental in creating a uniquely Clonakilty offering.
He said: “This Pot still Irish whiskey was triple distilled from a combination of locally grown raw barley and malt. Our stills with have long tall necks which produce an elegant spirit which help us to showcase the sweetness of the malt, as well as the spiciness of the barley and fruity flavours produced by the yeast.
“The spirit was then cut down to casking strength with mineral rich water from our well at our Atlantic Coast warehouse and laid to rest here for the last three years. The warehouse is perched 200ft above the ocean and is exposed to persistent howling Atlantic winds.
“The ever-changing climate the casks are exposed to will increase our angel’s share and concentrate the flavours in our spirit creating a whiskey with an unmatched depth of character.
“We have a passion for innovation, and we strive to use only the best cask finishes for our whiskey, and this will be a brilliant addition to our current range of European Oak, Port, Bordeaux and Cognac casks,” Mr Corbett concluded.
Founder of Clonakilty Distillery Michael Scully said he was delighted with this recent milestone, but added that the Distillery will continue to harness the flavours and allow them to mature for a further two years before releasing to the public:
Mr Scully said: We are delighted to have reached this three- year milestone for our single Irish pot still whiskey. The smoothness and intriguing flavour combination of fruit and spice is exactly as we wished for at this point in its development. This elegant whiskey will only get better, which is why we intend to wait for a further two years before release.
Whiskey fans can follow the journey and process of Clonakilty’s Single Pot Still through their social media channels – but can also buy a cask in advance through their Cask Keepers Club which allows buyers the unique opportunity to invest in their own cask of the premium Single Pot Still new make spirit, with further details on the website here - Cask Keepers' Club - Clonakilty Distillery