Cork Whiskey Festival Launched
At The Shelbourne Bar
|Midleton Whiskey Ambassador Ger Garland at the launch.|
“It is going to be the best Whiskey Festival in the country,” declared Laurie O’Dwyer at the launch of the Cork Whiskey Festival in the Shelbourne Bar last Thursday night.
Laurie, co-founder and co-director of the festival with his wife Sonya, has the credentials for running such a festival. His Whiskey Chats Podcast is now up and around the 180th episode and provided “a really good network” to help get the Festival off the ground.
|Laurie: Going to be the best! Pic via CWF.|
“Thirty four events over three days will see the cream of the crop in Cork. Over half the tickets have been sold, a big surprise to us at this stage. Now we’ll be putting a big push on to make it a sellout and make it the best festival in the country.”
Laurie had a big thank you for the evening’s host: “We couldn’t have done it without the Shelbourne Bar and Phillip. And of course Irish Malts and Midleton Distillers. major sponsors. Check it all out on the website".
The Shelbourne Bar is the official Social Hub and info point for Cork Whiskey Fest 2023. "Whenever you want to chill out, meet with new friends or catch up with old friends, The Shelbourne is where you will find your fellow festival attendees and our info desk."
Ger Garland, Whiskey Ambassador for Midleton, admitted to being amazed at the growth of the whiskey industry in Ireland. “When I started there were just 3 distillers, now there are 48.” And he had news from Midleton where a new distillery (representing an investment of around a quarter of a billion) will be ready for 2025, "totally carbon neutral".
He is looking forward to the festival: “The Cork Whiskey Festival will give you a glimpse of both the newcomers to the business along with the more well established….. Tastings will be great whether you are a novice or more experienced!”
Ger of course will be working at the festival as indeed he had some work to do on the launch night, guiding us through a tasting of Jameson Black Barrel and a Redbreast 12, a couple of Midleton’s well-known spirits. We didn’t really need any guidance for our intro drink, a classic Jameson and Ginger serve in a tall glass with a user friendly grip!
Jameson were, of course, based in Dublin but became part of the Irish Distillers in Midleton when the few remaining distilleries came together for survival’s sake in the 1966.
The Black Barrel is a step up on the basic Jameson and quite an economical one too, an all round whiskey. Ger filled us in on the story of the Black Barrel and the “alligator”. The barrels in which it is matured get a second char, a deep one that “cracks open the barrel and leaves marks like an alligator skin, very black of course and that led to the name".
|Enjoying the craic with Oisin Davis (r) of Great Irish Beverages|
Redbreast too has a long history, going back to 1912 and the Redbreast 12 is the biggest seller of Irish premium whiskey in the world. Ger: "It has been on the market since 1912 and the ruby hue is due to the sherry influence (raised in Oloroso barrels). It smell is wonderfully evocative, like Christmas cake in a glass, full bodied, buttery, spicy, sweet and fruity and with that soft warming effect.”
Lovely on a cold February night! And I left the Shelbourne with a warm glow, hoping that the third weekend in March will be a few degrees warmer!
* In the meantime, get your tickets at the website.