Hey Troops, It's Sergio here,
As you know I recently began my journey into discovering Irish whiskeys across Ireland. So we headed off to the beautiful town of Clonakilty and what a way to begin the Journey. The town of Clonakilty is amazing on its own, with its breath taking scenery and history around every corner. One of the things Clonakilty is most famous for is its award winning black pudding, from Twomey’s butcher (The original home of black pudding.) Now I love my black pudding as much as the next bloke, but I came here in search of a different kind of pudding. I came for some delicious, golden amber with hints of fruit, spice and all things nice. That’s right, I came for the Whiskey.
So we made our way down to the Clonakilty distillery, which in 2016 became the 23rd whiskey distillery to open its doors in Ireland. It was founded by Michael Scully and his family who have been farming the land for 9 generations. They have a great commitment to both heritage and innovation to produce some fantastic whiskeys that all of Clonakilty can be really proud of, a real grain to glass story. They have a small team who operate this beautiful boutique distillery. As well as the visitors centre, gin school and the Whales Tail Bistro. The distillery itself is situated smack bang in the middle of the town. They grow their own Heritage barley in fields at the base of Galley Head Lighthouse and then mature their whiskey in their storehouse, which is 200ft above sea level on the oceans edge.
We were met by Paddy and Ewan who gave us a fantastic tour of the distillery. We were first taken through all the history and heritage. As well as some very innovative methods they use for producing their whiskey, from heritage barley, to unique cask finishes. We then got to meet the man behind the whiskey. The Head distiller Paul Corbett, who joined them from the Teelings Whiskey Company. We then got a real hands on sensory treat, where we could experience all the sights, sounds and smells of a real working distillery. But there was one very important sense that I couldn’t use in here. So we headed for the tasting room.
As we entered the tasting room, my heart filled with joy as I knew the time had come. That’s right lads, it was time for pudding. As I sat down, I was presented with a beautiful platter with a trio of glorious Clonakilty Whiskey.
I started off with their flagship whiskey, the Single Batch Double Oak which won double gold at the San Francisco spirits competition. It’s a blend of 10 year old malt and 8 year old grain whiskey, matured in ex-bourbon casks. Then finished in virgin American oak; and shaved, toasted and re-charred ex-red wine barrels from Bordeaux. Lovely, notes of sweet spices, orchard fruits and slight nuttiness.
I then moved on to the Port cask finish, which is again a blend of malt and grain whiskey. But this time finished in Port casks from the Douro Valley in Portugal. This one has beautiful notes of peaches, citrus and caramel.
Now I arrive at my last bit of pudding before its time to head home. The Single Grain, Bordeaux cask finish. Which is a 9 year old grain whiskey finished in ex-Bordeaux wine casks. Which give delicious notes of strawberry, honey and vanilla.
All in all a fantastic experience and some great Whiskeys were had down in Clonakilty.
I will most definitely be back, especially to try some of that Single Pot Still Whiskey they have resting in there storehouse breathing in that fresh Atlantic air. I have a feeling it’s going to be something really special.