Ireland’s Newest Distilleries
There was once a time when Ireland played home to just two distilleries, a torrid time for lovers of Irish whiskey. 1988 saw the emergence of Cooley Distillery, becoming the first independent distillery to open in Ireland in over a century. Cooley paved the way for independent whiskey producers in Ireland, and as of November 2017, 16 distilleries are now operating on the island with plenty more to follow. We examine our favourite new distilleries and look ahead to a few planned distilleries as well.
Walsh Distillery at Royal Oak
The Whiskey Trail had the privilege of being invited down to this Co. Carlow distillery during the summer of 2017. Check out our blog on the visit here! Currently Walsh is the only distillery in Ireland to produce all three styles of Irish whiskey in the same room, single malt, single grain, and single pot still. Producing such well-loved brands like Writers Tears and The Irishman, this distillery has an annual output of over 8 million bottles, so no fear of running out of these favourites any time soon.
Dingle Whiskey Distillery
This modest distillery in the heart of Co. Kerry has turned some heads since opening in 2012. Dingle produces vodka and an extremely popular gin, but it’s their single malt whiskey we’re interested in. With a mission statement to produce handcrafted whiskey with an emphasis on quality, Dingle does not disappoint in this regard. Their 1st batch sold out within a few months of its release and the 2nd batch, which has just hit shelves, will surely follow suit. Grab a bottle wherever you see one!
The Spirit of Dublin, Teeling are the largest independent whiskey brand operating in Ireland today. Nestled in the historic Liberties area of Dublin, an area synonymous with whiskey distilling, this distillery was the first new distillery in the city in over 120 years and the first functioning distillery in over 40 years. If that doesn’t entice you, the range of whiskey available from Teeling certainly will. Besides Teeling’s ‘Trinity’ of small batch, single grain, and single malt whiskies, there is also the annual Brabazon bottling, as well as Teeling Revival.
Pearse Lyons Distillery
The latest addition on the Dublin whiskey scene, this boutique distillery has the unique disposition of being located in an old church. Replacing the alter inside this amazing space are two stills. The stained glass windows have been replaced with windows depicting the processes of whiskey making. Appropriately, it was Irish monks who first began distilling in Ireland, so this connection with the clergy is long standing on the island. With 4 styles of whiskey available, a tour of this distillery is definitely worth the excursion.
Located on Waterford’s Quays in a former brewery, Waterford Distillery is the brainchild of Mark Reynier formerly of Bruichladdich. Using malted barley from Minch Malt and with a firm commitment to making single malt whiskey, we’re looking forward to trying a taste of the Southeast!
Connacht Whiskey Company
Based in Co. Mayo, Connacht Whiskey Company sees the endeavours of three friends who remain dedicated to bringing “modern techniques to an old tradition of craft distilling.” The company has plans to release a gin, a poitin and a range of blended whiskies before the release of their single pot still range.
As if there wasn’t reason enough to visit the stunning Powerscourt Estate in Co. Wicklow, plans have been set aside to construct a distillery in the area. Using barley produce around the estate, the distillery has plans to produce over 1 million bottles a year.
Slane Castle Distillery
With a $50 million investment made by Brown-Forman, the company behind Jack Daniels, Slane Castle Distillery has released a blended whiskey sourced from other producers and it’s gone down a hit. Brown-Forman will be aiming at the premium and super-premium whiskeys in blended, single pot still, and single grain styles.
by Jonathan Dungan