Glendalough Distillery have just announced the launch of their first ever Single Pot Still Whiskey, a non-age statement whiskey which has been finished in Irish Oak, sourced from the Wicklow mountains surrounding the distillery site.
Ahead of the launch, co-founder, Kevin Keenan, informed us that this Pot Still whiskey was designed to be as authentically Irish as possible. This Single Pot Still whiskey was contract distilled at an undisclosed distillery, to the specifications of the Glendalough Distillery team. The mash consisted of 67% unmalted barley and 33% malted barley, distilled in intentionally half filled pot stills to take advantage of the effects of added reflux. The whiskey spent the first three years of its life maturing in first fill bourbon casks, before it was transferred for its year long finishing in Irish Oak, that the distillery team felled and had coopered for them specifically.
Currently, this spirit is a Single Pot Still whiskey as the distillate comes from a single distillery, although, this will not always be the case. Glendalough’s Pot Still release intentionally does not have the word “single” before it as the distillery team are intent on creating modern Ireland’s first blended/vatted pot still whiskey, once the distillate from their own distillery comes of age. The distillery team will begin blending the sourced spirit with their own in progressively larger quantities as they come of age, progressing this whiskey from a Single Pot Still, to a blended Pot Still and eventually as the Glendalough spirit comes through in sufficient quantities it may return back to a Single Pot Still, except this time, entirely comprised of Glendalough Distillery distillate.
The Glendalough team worked with a forestry manager to find 14 oak trees within Wicklow managed oak forests, suitable for felling. These oak trees are felled in small clearings, to allow the replanted oak saplings take hold, against the invasive Beech trees that dominate Irish forests currently.
These trees are then transported to Galicia, in Northern Spain where they are quarter sawn before being transferred to Glendalough’s partner cooperage in Montilla, the Sherry producing region in Spain for a year long drying, before being coopered into 50, 250l Irish Oak hogs head barrels. These barrels have received a level 3 char, which was obtained through burning the Irish Oak cut offs for the fuel. This level 3 char is a medium char that allows the characters of the wood not be over taken by the wood’s natural vanillin.
The full details on the construction of these barrels is documented in our upcoming Potstilled Radio episode 2.3, where we sit down with co-founder Kevin Keenan to talk through the details of this release and the impending malt releases from the distillery.
This whiskey is exclusively available from the Celtic Whiskey Shop from now until Whiskey Live in Dublin, at which point the whiskey will be rolled out across the country and then across the rest of the Glendalough markets. The RRP for the whiskey is €55 in Ireland.
Full tasting review coming soon.