Early May this year, Chapelgate Whiskey founder, Louise McGuane, made headlines across the whiskey world, by being the first person in the world to release a whiskey that had been finished in both Tequila and Mezcal barrels. Not only was this a combined feat, it was also a first for any Irish whiskey to be finished in either of these barrels.
When first launched, two months ago, Louise told us how “this is not simply a ‘finished’ whiskey but in-fact a whiskey that was truly influenced by both the Mezcal and Tequila flavours”. She explained how the blending process was one of liquid investigation, as being a first mover means you must write the rulebook when it comes to blending flavours, as there is nothing you can compare to.
Now, the second batch of the Battalion whiskey has shown up on the US’ TTB approval site for importation into the United States. Although, speaking to Chapelgate whiskey founder, Louise McGuane, she wanted to reiterate “what appears on the TTB is not gospel, the label in theory has been approved but there will be amendments”.
The label you can see above, is what has appeared on the TTB’s website in the last few days, although, the exact details will differ when the product is finally released.
Louise did let us know some details about the upcoming release though. She informed us that the age of the liquid has not been decided as of yet, although, it will be a single grain, as the label above states. One thing that Louise was quick to highlight was, that Batch 2 will certainly not consist of a 1,000 bottle release. While the Battalion Batch 2 has the same cask regiment as Batch 1, only 3 casks will be released for the US market. The ABV has not yet been set as the final batch hasn’t actually been blended yet, which means the US JJ Corry fans have a little while yet to wait, before they can get some of the Battalion Batch 2 whiskey to their lips!
Louise was quick to note that the bottlings are currently following the same release plan that her company has had in place for the last number of years, and no release plans have been altered to facilitate collectors markets.
Batch 1 was always scheduled to be released first in Europe to coincide with Cinco de Mayo. Whereas, Batch 2 was always intended to be released several months later, with a primary focus on the on-trade, where the Batch 1 release focused primarily on the off-trade. The Battalion Batch 2 is scheduled to hit shelves in the US in Q4 of this year.
The whiskeys used in JJ Corry’s Battalion, are all sourced whiskeys that Louise has been maturing in her West Clare, dunnage style warehouses, for the last number of years. It was here that they were transferred to their finishing casks and left to mature for their final 5 months in Tequila and Mezcal casks.
The name “The Battalion” pays tribute to the Battalion of Saint Patrico’s. These were a group of Irish men who fought for Mexico in the Mexican American war of 1846/48. This Battalion was comprised mainly of Irish immigrants from the West Coast of Ireland, who defected from the American side to fight for the Mexicans.
Louise proudly explained how as modern Irish whiskey bonders, it is her team’s duty to always be searching for interesting flavours to influence the whiskeys that she releases. She added that her team loves taking inspiration from artisanal producers from around the world, and in this case, Mexico.
For now, those who are looking to get their hands on The Battalion Batch 1, you can still find some available, at the time of publication, on Irishmalts.com.
To listen to the company story of JJ Corry and the trials and tribulations of reviving Ireland’s lost art of Whiskey Bonding, listen in to Louise on our Potstilled Radio podcast, here.