Clonakilty Distillery are celebrating this month as their first casks of own distilled whiskey turned three years old on the 1st of May 2022.
Following just days behind Killowen Distillery’s first casks turning three years old, Clonakilty have reached the first age based milestone for any Irish whiskey distillery. Only grain spirit that has been laid down in wood for a minimum of three years can be legally classified as “whiskey” in Ireland. As such, this Single Pot Still distillery now has “Irish Whiskey” produced from the distillery in Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
These casks have been quietly maturing over the last three years in their Atlantic Ocean warehouse, which sits on the ocean front right outside of the town itself. To add to the Clonakilty provenance, all the raw barley utilised in distillation was grown on a combination of farmlands owned by the distillery and neighbouring farmers around the town itself.
Clonakilty’s Single Pot Still spirit has already hit the headlines by having won the Best Irish New Make Spirit 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 highlighted the natural local surroundings of their Atlantic warehouse played a huge role in the growing of the barley as well as the maturation of the casks, both factors which he explains were instrumental in creating a “uniquely Clonakilty offering“.
Speaking of the first distillate from the distillery, Paul explains that “this Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey was triple distilled from a combination of locally grown raw barley and malt. Our stills which have long tall necks 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”.
“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,” Paul concluded.
Founder of Clonakilty Distillery, Michael Scully, said he was delighted with this recent milestone, but added that the Distillery will continue to mature these casks of Single Pot Still whiskey in their Atlantic warehouses for at least 2 more years before releasing a Single Pot Still Whiskey 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 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.