May 2020 - Pearse Lyons Distillery
The Waterford Whiskey Society’s tasting events were understandably curtailed due to the COVID pandemic
this year, and we now know that all events particularly in pubs won’t go ahead for some time. We have
threfore been working to move our tastings to the online space and were delighted to kick this off in May
with the visit of Pearse Lyons Distillery.
The tasting was led by Conor Ryan and Michael Carr and we would like to thank them for their time and
support in getting the tasting organized. Altogether we had 28 participants mainly from our membership
but also some attendees from across the country.
As you may know the Pearse Lyons distillery is named after its late founder who was involved in the distilling
industry for many decades, first will Alltech and then with Town Branch distillery in Lexington Kentucky, the
home of the famous Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and also their Bourbon, Rye, and Malt Whiskey.
The Pearse Lyons distillery is now located in James street on the site of St James Church which was built in
1860 and was the Lyons family church for many decades.
The distillery opened in 2017 although they have been producing spirit since 2012 from their own stills
which were located in Carlow for some time before being moved onsite after construction works were
The first whiskey of the night was the HA’PENNY Original Blend which consists of 20% Malt, and 80% Grain:
split 50:50 between wheat and corn, and finished in Bourbon Barrels from Town Branch. Bottled at 43%
and aged for between 4-7 years.
The second whiskey was the HA’PENNY 4 Casks consisting of 36% Malt and 64% grain (Corn). Bottled at
43% and aged between 4-10 years in: Bourbon and Port casks for the Malt; Re-charred Bourbon for the 6YO
Grain, and in Sherry Casks for the 10YO Grain.
Next up was the Pearse 5YO Blended Whiskey with own make spirit and a mix of 34% Malt and 64% grain
(Corn) finished in all Bourbon barrels (some ex stout barrels) Bottled at 43% and aged between 5-7 years.
We then moved onto the Pearse 7YO Blended Whiskey, a slightly higher Malt content this time with 36%
and 62% Grain. Bottled at 43% finished in bourbon barrels with a small amount (25%) finished in Olorosso
Hogsheads. The single malt again was their own make.
The final whiskey of the night was the Pearse Founder’s Choice 12YO Single Malt. A sourced Whiskey
finished in ex-Bourbon barrels from Town Branch Distillery and bottled at 43%.
A fantastic line up of whiskeys which were all very well received on the night, with the 4 Cask and 12YO
standing out from the range of expressions.
There was also talk of a distillery edition called The Marriage of Malt which is to be a Vatted Malt bottled
at 44% with a mix of 60% 6YO Malt from Pearse finished in PX, 27% 13YO ex-Bourbon, and 13% 15YO in PX
again. There are 888 bottles available and they expect it to be released from their online shop in the near
future for circa €79.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening and a successful first online tasting for the society and we look forward to
many more, with the next one planned for June so watch out for the email.
We sincerely thank the members for their support during these changing times and also recognise the
support of the industry and its Distilleries who are helping to keep the interest alive using the new online
Best regard from the committee at Waterford Whiskey Society.