Showing posts with label Black's Brewery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Black's Brewery. Show all posts

Monday, September 7, 2020

A Quart of Ale± #11 Moving on over to craft. American Style IPA

A Quart of Ale± #11
Moving on over to craft. 
American Style IPA
Part 2

First, there was IPA. In the 18th century, English beer, on its way to India was highly hopped. It became known as India pale ale and went down well with the soldiers and later found favour with drinkers at home. 

Two hundred years later, just like the empire, it was slipping into oblivion, until the Americans revived it by using their more aromatic and flavourful hops and more of them. And so the American IPA was born. And that led to a revival in the UK.

This is Part 2 (we published Part 1 last week) and here we focus on some excellent American style IPA produced here in Ireland by the likes of Kinnegar, Whiplash, Blacks and Yellowbelly.

Blacks “Ace of Haze” DDH Cryo New England IPA, 4.2%, 440ml can, Bradleys Cork
The hard-working Maudeline and Sam Black.

I have to say straight up that that this New Englander is a lovely beer, very drinkable.

But what’s a New England IPA? Blacks say: Characterised by juicy, citrus and floral flavours and a smoother less piney taste than some other IPAs you might be familiar with, New England IPA is a style that became popular in Vermont USA in the 2010s. Hazy in appearance with a soft mouthfeel, NEIPA's are brewed without adding hops to the boil and with the use of specific yeast strains to achieve the desired result. Often described as a more fruit forward IPA with lower perceived bitterness but massively hop forward with flavours and aromas derived from the use of dry hopping techniques.

This NEIPA (hardly an abbreviation!) is a hazy yellow. It weighs in at 4.2% so it certainly a session contender. No shortage of hops in the mix and it’s the fruit, citrus and exotic, that makes its mark rather than any bitterness (which is there, in the background). Very drinkable though and sure to gather up lots of fans. By the way, Blacks have at least one other Haze edition.

They say: This banging beer was brewed with passion and an absurd amount of cryogenically frozen Mosaic, Citra and Simcoe hops not forgetting a touch of inspiration from some rock classics that are commonly heard on the brewery floor on brew days. The malt bill of Barley, Oats and Wheat gives plenty of body and character but we have kept the ABV on the lower end for IPA's so you can enjoy more than 1 or 2 in a sitting.

Kinnegar “Crossroads” American Style IPA 6.2%, 440ml can Bradley’s of Cork

Colour is close to amber, plenty of bubbles rising (naturally carbonated), white head hangs around for a while. Good hoppy backbone carrying tropical fruit flavours across the palate and into the very satisfying finish. Qualifies as American style because it is rich in citrus and tropical fruit flavours with a touch of pine thrown in. One of the best cans of IPA you’re likely to come across and you can taste why this is one of their core range. 

Kinnegar’s craft beers are brewed in a new brewery in Letterkenny.  “Our roots are deeply embedded in the hilly fields and farms of northeast Donegal. This is the perfect environment for the way we make beer. We don’t filter or pasteurise, and we let our industrious little friends, the yeast, carbonate the beer naturally during fermentation.” We visited the brewery last autumn and you may read all about it here.

Originally named “Roadtrip” when brewed as a 20th birthday celebration of McHugh’s legendary Dublin off-licences, Crossroads is the Donegal brewery’s tribute to the men and women of the county’s diaspora who, like the McHughs, have made their mark on the wider world.

Whiplash Rollover Session IPA 3.8%, 330ml can, Bradley’s

Pale yellow colour with a  short-lived white head over a hazy body. Citrus fronts the aromatics. And the quartet of hops dominate the palate. Amazing that this has so much hops and still weighs in at less than 4.00% abv. Quite a concentration of hops then, before a lip-smacking finalé. “Now, that’s a beer,” my tasting companion declared (having “suffered” earlier through a Radler and a sour). 

They say: Same hop rate as our DIPA’s, less than half the alcohol. A very heavily hopped Session IPA: this comes at you with buckets of Simcoe, Ekuanot, Citra and Mosaic hops with a light touch of malts and an easy crushable body. Unfiltered, hazy, hoppy and juicy – Rollover is a New England inspired IPA without the heavy alcohol in tow.

Yellowbelly “Citra Pale Ale” American Pale Ale, 4.8%, 440ml can, Bradleys Cork

Hazy yellow is the colour here, a white head (size and length depends a lot on how you pour, probably best if on draught). You’ll probably de-juice that Citra Hops are used here. Head Brewer Declan Nixon has also employed German and Belgian malts. I think he’s judged this to a “T” and has come up with a really well-balanced beer.

A hint of pine in the aromas and this smooth drinking beer has citrus flavours, is very pleasant on the palate and, with all that, plus the help of a modest enough alcohol count of 4.8%, has that second glass appeal for sure.

Let us hear what the Wexford crew have to say for themselves: Our Citra Pale Ale is brewed with the finest German & Belgian malts, fermented with a super clean American ale yeast and dry hopped to the gills with Citra. The resulting beer should be enjoyed as fresh as possible to appreciate the grapefruit and pine aroma and super clean finish.

They regard it as a flagship beer. Citra Pale Ale can be enjoyed year-round on draught or in can from your favourite bars, restaurants and off-licences. It was voted Best Beer in Ireland 2019 – Beoir Awards. A very good one indeed.

Wicklow Wolf Mammoth IPA, 6.2%, 440ml can, Bradley’s of Cork

Colour of this West Coast IPA is amber with a nice fluffy head that sinks fairly slowly. It gets its name because a mammoth amount of Simcoe, Chinook, Cascade and Eureka! have been used to pump up the fruit. And the hops take the lead in the aromas (floral, fruit, pine) as well. 

Very much floral and citrus in the palate as you’d expect but no shortage of malt either (Pale, Cara Ruby the varieties used). Rather a muscular beer (compared, say, to Trouble Brewing’s Ambush) but the muscle’s not out of control and the Mammoth will find a welcome in any good beer circle. Hops used are Simcoe, Cascade, Chinook, Eureka! And, take heed, the IBU is a stiff 60. Serve at 8 degrees.

9 White Deer Stag IPA 5.0%, 500ml can, Bradley’s of Cork

Amber is the colour of this Gluten Free IPA from the Gaeltacht - you have to peer in to see the bubbles. The head is white and sticks around. Aromas hint of malts and hops. Big hop flavours on the palate yet the bitterness is not over the top at all, nice balance with the malts. Stag is an American style IPA according to the label. I’m thinking it fits snugly between two continents. Could mid-Atlantic be a style?

They say: A Classic IPA, using vast quantities of new age hops, this gluten free IPA is full of flavour. Hop usage is late in the boil which gives big flavours and aroma without big bitterness. IPAs never serviced the gluten free market but that is now changed, and what a beer to change it with.  A well balanced quaffable IPA bursting with flavour and aroma.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Bubble Brothers in the mix and much more on wine, beer and spirits in Cheers #18

Bubble Brothers in the mix and much more on wine, beer and spirits in Cheers #18

Bubble Brothers have a staycation mix for you!
We hope you're all well, and making the most of the occasional summer weather. Our website is continuing to work hard for us (thank you), but in case you haven't visited lately, we have a very attractive new offer for you—with something extra if you are able to 'click and collect'. Details here

Black's New "High" IPA

You are about to experience a brand new High PA, this unique new beer is brewed with the terpenes ( flavour and aroma oils ) extracted from the legendary cannabis strain Maui Wowie. A Strain known for its tropical favours and stress-relieving qualities hat will float you straight to the shores of Hawaii where this strain originally comes from.
A heavy mango and Pineapple base with notes of pine and pepper!
More details on the new brew and distillery progress here

O'Briens Wines Feature 12 Acres Brewing
In county County Laois one of Ireland’s finest breweries produces beer with a ‘ground to glass’ ethos. 12 Acres Brewing Co. make beer using barley grown on their family farm surrounding the brewery and with spring water drawn from deep below the land.
12 Acres is headed up by Paddy McDonald who after traveling the world with his then girlfriend, now wife Aisling, found himself back in Ireland and began to look at his employment options as Ireland emerged from recession. Thankfully, he brought something back from his travels, a love of craft beer. Read more here.

Kylie Minogue photographed at The Ritz London, August 2020, (c) Darenote Ltd.

Kylie Minogue Wines are thrilled to introduce 
the latest two wines in the Kylie Minogue Wines portfolio: the Signature Sauvignon Blanc and the Signature Merlot. Both the Sauvignon Blanc and the Merlot complete the long-awaited Kylie Minogue Wines’ Signature Range, which also includes the wildly popular and best-selling Signature Rosé, debuted in May by pop icon Kylie Minogue.

Fun and spontaneous like Kylie herself, the Signature Sauvignon Blanc originates from Gascony, in the south-west of France, and carries a fresh and lively nose of lime blossom and gooseberry, whilst zesty and crisp on the palate - described by Kylie as the perfect accompaniment with a fresh watermelon, feta and mint salad.

The Kylie Minogue Wines’ Signature Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot will be available exclusively in Ireland on and Carry Out Off Licences at an RRP of €12.99 from Monday 24th August.

Italy's Alto Adige: A Small Land Shows Its Greatness

Pampered by Mediterranean sun, shaped by the Alpine landscape, prepared by experienced winegrowers, and prized by wine connoisseurs throughout the world: wine from Alto Adige. Read the well-illustrated Wine-Searcher article here

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Secrets of Burren Brewery and the wild yeast that led to "Euphoria", with more on beers, wines and spirits in Cheers #11

The secrets of brewing - Burren Brewery

Peter in a still from the video

How Peter Curtin gathered the wild yeast that led to the amazing "Euphoria"
Check out the video here

More on beers, wines and spirits in Cheers #11

 Blacks of Kinsale may be filling casks of whiskey these days

but have just announced a new beer!

taste! Light and refreshing with Mango, Pineapple and Grapefruit Perfect for the summer, whenever it arrives! Details on the whiskey and the beer here.

Drink Pink. That's The Summertime Message from O'Briens WinE

By Lynne Coyle MW | O'Briens Wine Director says Rosé is most definitely the hottest wine trend this summer. Rain, hail or shine its popularity knows no bounds. Whether still or sparkling, with or without food, of the palest pink or a darker hue, rosé wine is making itself known at every wine drinking occasion.

Almost all red grapes can be made into a rosé wine, the grapes used are usually the traditional grapes grown in the region of origin. The styles are varied and the wines versatility and pinkness only adds to their charm; get drinking pink this summer with a selection of our press recommended rosés. Read more here.

O'Hara's Launch New Tropical IPA
Introducing our latest beer to Ireland - Tropical IPA - A 7.2% IPA bursting with tropical flavours of tangerine, papaya, citrus and mango. More info on their Facebook page

Waterford Distillery Bring Forward New Single Farm Origins.

After the rather unexpected success of our first commercial bottlings, which sold out within a matter of hours in major retailers across Europe, we have brought forward four new whisky bottlings to meet demand. Will be available from specialist retailers from the end of July 2020 onwards. Website:

In flight above the Langhe with brunch in a winery. Barolo from above!

I'll be staycationing this year but here's one that just might tempt me away......
In Balloon organizes turistic hot air balloon flights, one of the most unique, original and emotionals ways to live a trip experience. We leave from the artistic Commune of Barolo surrounded by the suggestive Langhe, World Heritage Site protected by UNESCO.
More details here

Sunday, July 5, 2020

All Calm and Comfortable in Cornstore "Comeback". And Well Fed Too.

All Calm and Comfortable in Cornstore "Comeback"
And Well Fed Too. 
Up and running at The Cornstore

You almost pass the hand sanitiser station on the way in. You almost reach out a hand to shake that of a staff member friend you haven’t seen in a while. This new normal takes a bit of getting used to -  just a little bit. At least that’s the way it was last Thursday as Cork’s Cornstore made a pitch-perfect return after the long days of the lockdown. 

The restaurant's crew, even behind their face shields, played a blinder, exhibiting a smiling calmness and courtesy all evening as they got it up and running and made us all feel at home. Terrific service, the usual high standard of food and drink, plus very comfortable spacing between customers, had us all relaxed in no time, not that we were in any way apprehensive as we walked into the splendid Cornmarket Street venue. 

We had booked and were soon shown to our table. Of course, we also had a look around, at least in our immediate vicinity. There was a table to our left and that looked about the right distance away - I wasn’t doing any measurements, no interest in 1.9m or 2.1m. The one to our right was much closer but there was a more than adequate glass or plexiglass panel between us. 

The middle row of tables in that section has been removed. All the available tables were soon filled, a lovely buzz of conversation gradually built up as we were ordering from a pretty comprehensive new menu. There was a time limit on the table but never once was there a sense of being rushed, quite the comfortable contrary actually.

While it was our first night out since early March, we weren’t about to go all out as we still had a private engagement later on. And so we decided to share the starter. The Spicy Chicken Wings is  a tradition here and we could see why as we got our hands good and sticky with the superb celery and blue cheese dip that came with the tasty wings (11.50). 

Starters range from Goats Cheese Crostini to Prawns Pil Pil and include Duck Liver Parfait, Burrata, Classic Mussels, and Fillet Beef Carpaccio. No shortage of choice. And that choice continues through the mains which feature their renowned steaks plus a daily fish board and much more. 

I was looking hard at the Classic Fillet Beef Stroganoff before switching attention to the steak, all sourced from local suppliers and all their steak cuts have been dry-aged with Himalayan salt. My choice was the 8 ounce Fillet (€21.00), a perfectly delicious piece of meat and perfectly cooked to order. No less than six sauces available and I went, for a change, with the Field Mushroom and Jameson Whiskey one, a gem.
Exterior of the Cornstore (from last February)

CL was tempted by the Oven Roast salmon before settling for the Confit Duck Leg. She got quite a plateful as the leg came with sautéed baby potatoes, chorizo, pak choi, red onion marmalade and hoisin sauce. You could see the kitchen made quite an effort with this one and she enjoyed one of the best duck confit dishes we’ve come across in a long while. They offer quite a list of sides here, everything from Proper Chips to Blackened Cauliflower Mornay to Grilled Asparagus (from 4.00 to 5.50).

And do take a look at the Pizza section. We got a tip on this but a little too late on this occasion. Maybe next time. And the pizza will come in handy too during the late weekend nights when the Cornstore hosts The Night Lounge (from 10.30pm). They range in price from 15 to 19 euro. 

We did see, from a nearby table, that they are massive. Here’s two descriptions, just to give you an idea. The Farm (16.00): Goats cheese, poached baby pears, roast peppers, toasted pecan nuts and whiskey maple syrup. The Ploughman (18): Pulled Pork, Parma ham, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, with fried pickles and Dijonnaise sauce!

Cornstore Cocktails have always been excellent and they list a few on the main menu including the Irish Penicillin (Jameson, Connemara, craft diner liquor, honey and fresh lime juice). 

No shortage of red and white wines, plus sparkling  of course. We two settled for the beer though, thanks to our server who came up with a couple of bottles of the excellent Kinsale Pale Ale from Blacks Brewery in Kinsale. I love to support local and there’s no hardship in this case as the KPA is really top notch.

And, speaking of top notch, well done again to Mike and his team in the Cornstore on a seamless superb return to action in the kitchen, the bar and front of house. Thanks for looking after us all so well in what was a very pleasing and comfortable experience all round. A bientôt!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Elbow Lane Brewers Have the Wisdom

Elbow Lane Brewers Have the Wisdom

Didn’t quite expect it when I started this Irish session, didn’t expect that I’d end up proclaiming the Cork City ale as my favourite of the bunch.

I’ve been drinking it from time to time in the Market Lane restaurants, most recently in Goldie, their fish and ale spot across from the mothership and indeed just across from the micro brewery as well. And it always goes well with food. Enjoyed it without the food this time just as much and probably took a bit more notice of its quality without the grub.

All the beers here, with the exception of the Elbow Lane, came from Bradley’s. I bought the Wisdom via Neighbourfood but Bradley’s have the Elbow beers available as well. As you may know, they are all named after lanes in Cork City.

By the way the White Hag Lager is excellent as is the Black’s Mosaic. The other two, if you’re open to experiment, as I was, are worth a try. You just might just find a favourite there!

The White Hag Helles Style Lager, 4.5%, 440ml can

Light gold is the colour, a host of bubbles rising. Very pleasant in the mouth, easy drinking and well balanced to the finish. Light and refreshing they say. Light and refreshing it is.

The Helles style originated in Bavaria (Germany) apparently and this is one of the best Irish efforts that I’ve tasted.

Sligo based White Hag are a modern independent craft brewery from Sligo, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. “We brew innovative and ground breaking beers, inspired by ancient and classic styles.” They produce quite a range of beers, most of them in can.

Blacks Brewery Mosaic IPA, 6.5%, 330ml bottle

This little bottle from Blacks showcases the Mosaic hops, giving the beer an American style (I suppose any beer with blueberry muffin aromas has to have US influences!). The hops, with its tropical aromas and juicy palate, is the main man here. This, in its small bottle, is well balanced though and another excellent and loveable brew from Kinsale.

They say: A West Coast Style IPA, packed full of tropical aromas, juicy big flavours and absolutely no nonsense. The malt character also shines through with freshly baked pastry and a whiff of blueberry muffin lingering in the background. On the palate, medium in body with a soft texture, mouthwatering acidity and a balance of bitter and sweet flavours.

Stone Barrel (brewed by their Third Barrel Brewing) Cabin Fever Enigma IPA, 7%, 44cl on can (but it’s a 33!).

Long time friends and brewers, Stone Barrel Brewing and Third Circle Brewing, decided to combine their experience, resources, love for brewing and absolute passion for beer and create one of Ireland's most cutting edge breweries.” 

Tropical fruits and white grapes (they say) in the aromas; I’m thinking there’s something  "ferment-y" in the background too, like a sourdough starter. Maybe there is too much Enigma hops here as the brewers say. Not bad at all on the palate and a good hoppy finish as well. It is well balanced and the higher alcohol is hardly noticeable.

They say: Brewed with a lovely blend of Irish base malt, oats and wheat with a strong focus on the dry-hop hops. Big tropical and white grape aromas balanced with a slightly sweet finish.

Larkin’s Quadditch 10.5%, 440ml can

Quadditch is the Larkins’ take on a classic Belgian quad. “With whole plums added to the mix, a deep, rich beer, with complex dark fruit notes, awaits you. A warming beer”. Hop varieties used are Hersbrucker and EKG.

A cloudy muddy brown. Aromas more or less anonymous. This hulk of a beer comes into its own on the palate, deep and rich with fruit flavours, pretty complex for sure. A touch of sweetness is present and the high alcohol is just about noticeable. Probably best with food and recommendations for the Belgian equivalent are Roasted Duck, Aged Gouda and Bread Pudding. Tried it with creamy Gubbeen cheese - needs must. The pairing's not too bad but not a must-do either (though I never refuse a chance to eat the iconic Gubbeen). Serve in a Tulip glass at about 12 degrees.

Elbow Lane Wisdom Ale 5.2%, 500ml bottle (and draught in their restaurants).

Dark, between amber and brown, nice frothy head. Caramel is perhaps the most prominent of the aromas. Good balance of hops and toasty malt on the smooth palate. The Elbow Lane team produce beers to match the food in the various Market Lane restaurants and they certainly succeed.

Goldie, the latest of five restaurants in the group, shows the words Fish and Ale under the main title. And the beers come from the Elbow Lane Micro Brewery, also across the street. Brewers Russell and Davide have specially formulated the ales to suit food and, as customers of the restaurants will tell you, they have been very successful in that regard. And excellent without the food too!

They say: This medium bodied amber ale is brewed with a selection of specialty malts that impact rich, toasty and caramel malt character, balanced by a firm yet pleasant hop flavor and aroma. This ale is excellent with many foods and uniquely satisfying as a stand alone pint.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Blacks Win Gold For Their Rum At World Awards. Amazing Kinsale Duo Soon To Lay Down Their Whiskey

press release
Blacks Win Gold For Their Rum At World Awards

Amazing Kinsale Duo Soon To Lay Down Their Whiskey

Husband and wife duo, and founders of Blacks Brewery and Distillery, Sam and Maudeline Black, were in high spirits on winning a prestigious Gold award for their Blacks Golden Rum at the World Rum Awards. Founded originally as a craft beer brewery in 2013, this unstoppable couple expanded and opened their distillery in 2015, where they began producing gin in their top-of-the range facility in Kinsale, Co.Cork.  In 2018, they made history with Blacks Spiced Rum, Ireland’s first-ever rum, made entirely from start to finish in Ireland. Continuing to add to their extensive range of award-winning craft beers and spirits, this year their first bottle of Blacks Golden Rum hit the shelves, after maturing in ex Irish whiskey oak barrels for the last five years.

The World Rum Awards are the leading global rum awards, which select the very best in all of the internationally recognised styles, and award and promote these world best rums to consumers and trade across the globe. It was with immense pride that passionate entrepreneurs, Maudeline & Sam, accepted this coveted World Rum Award, a recognition of their master craftsmanship and innovative recipe. Blacks Golden Rum was the only rum to win Gold in its category - World’s Best Column Still Rum 5 Years & Under, and the only Irish spirit to make the winners list. This was the first time Blacks Brewery & Distillery entered these illustrious awards, with their golden rum undergoing a series of three stringent judges tasting sessions. Due to Covid19 restrictions, this year, all aspects of these awards took place behind closed doors, with virtual tasting sessions chaired by head judge Peter Holland. The distinguished judging panel comprised of international, leading journalists, specialist drinks retailers and industry experts.

Speaking in relation to the taste of this Gold award-winning Blacks Golden Rum the judging panel commented, ‘An interesting nose. It starts off with wood varnish and dunder/funkiness. Very ripe tropical fruit and very ripe stone and citrus fruit with a very notable dry orange peel aroma. There is roat vegetal notes too. The palate is quite straightforward and easy. One dimensional with easy tropical fruits and little hints of wood smoke and medicinal characteristics.’
Sam Black
‘We couldn’t believe it when award organisers contacted us with the good news. Gold! We are very proud of our golden rum, as we are with all of the beers and spirits which leave our brewery and distillery displaying our name. They really are a testament to the time and talent invested by all of our team in Kinsale, but to receive this recognition on a global scale, especially when up against such long standing and established rum brands it was just phenomenal.’ commented Founder Sam Black. 

Having made their mark on the global rum stage, there is no stopping this pair who already have their eyes firmly on their next endeavour - the whiskey market. Always looking for a unique angle, and bringing creativity to their business, be that in the form of seasonal craft beer recipes, production methods or eye-catching packaging, Maudeline & Sam wanted to make their whiskey journey special too. They have achieved this by opening up their business to other whiskey enthusiasts who wish to share in their passion with the Blacks Whiskey Founders Club.

Already boasting over 100 members, the Blacks Whiskey Founders Club gives whiskey lovers the opportunity to purchase their own cask of whiskey, starting from €6,500. This club allows members to create their very own personalised and branded whiskey, with a cask expected to deliver over 397 bottles of pot still single malt Irish whiskey, or to use this as an investment opportunity and after the five-year maturation period sell back their cask to Blacks. This buy-back scheme will generate a minimum 4% annually compounded (approx. €280 per year per cask) return on a members initial investment.

Phase one of this €1million project has now been completed, the installation of two copper whiskey stills. With the club still open for new members to join, and with lots of different cask options to choose from for example ex bourbon, sherry or port, the next key date in the diary is the first annual Blacks Whiskey Founders Club party, which is set to take place on Friday 18th September. This annual event gives members an opportunity to network and check in on their whiskey, becoming an actively engaged part of the distilling process. During the day members will have a choice of some social activities such as golfing and a Kinsale Harbour sailing trip,  while in the afternoon there will be tours of the distillery and brewery, with lots of spirit and beer tasting.

Speaking in relation to the Blacks Whiskey Founders Club , Sam Black commented, ‘This really is a unique opportunity for whiskey enthusiasts, who otherwise would not be in a position to produce whiskey alone. It was my passion for brewing and my wifes support that gave me the push to open Black Brewery & Distillery and I want to share that experience with others. Some of our members who have already joined plan to bottle and label their whiskey to gift to family, friends, as corporate client gifts and to sell some on the secondary whiskey market, while for others its an investment opportunity, but one in which they to play an active role in also creating a piece of our famous Irish whiskey heritage. The next few weeks mark a huge milestone in this project as the actual whiskey production begins. I look forward to watching our club grow, adding more people to the Blacks family and getting to meet a lot of these face to face at our annual get-together.’

Blacks Brewery and Distillery are among some of the lucky businesses who have been able to adapt their operations processes in order to remain functioning safely through this Covid19 pandemic. Not only are they still supplying beers and spirits to off-licenses and supermarkets across the country, but they are also playing their part in trying to fight this virus and support the community, with the production of much needed hand sanitiser. Despite their online sales increasing over the last month and sales staff required to focus their efforts here, Maudeline and Sam were still adamant that they were going to use their resources to help, and therefore redeployed members of their sales team, who would have primarily focused on on-trade pubs and restaurants.

Sales staff are now helping in the distillery to bottle and label hand sanitizer. This supply of hand sanitiser is being split between charities, such as Cork Simon and local Kinsale volunteers, and consumers. In addition to charity drops and for consumers through retail stores, when placing online spirit orders through the Blacks website consumers receive free sanitiser and one is also donated to a charity group in their name. Now that the new copper whiskey stills are installed they will also play a role in this sanitation process, as before whiskey production begins in the coming weeks the stills must undergo a cleaning run in manual mode with vinegar, followed by a sacrificial alcohol run which will also be transformed into hand sanitiser.

Commenting on the new edition to their production line Sam Black said, ‘We consider ourselves very fortunate to still be in a position to stay open and meet the demand of customers. It is a very hard time for the entire Irish community and we just wanted to play our part, no matter how small in helping during this crisis. When we became aware of the huge shortage of hand sanitiser for those on the frontline we realised we were in a unique position to be able to assist, and so we quickly went about altering our production process to start manufacturing and getting this into the hands of those who need it.’

To find out more about the award-winning Blacks Golden Rum, to become a member of the Blacks Whiskey Founders Club, or to place an order for some of Blacks Brewery & Distillery famous craft beers or gin visit You can also contact Paul, a member of the Blacks team at or stay connected online at Instagram/blacksbrewery Instagram/blacksdistillerykinsale, Twitter @BlacksBrewery or Facebook/BlacksOfKinsale