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May 2021 - Clonakilty Distillery Tasting

Waterford Whiskey Society were delighted to welcome Clonakilty Distillery to their fifth tasting event of the year which was hosted by Ewan Patterson their Visitor Experience Manager. A big thank you to Ewan and the team at Clonakilty for supporting us.

The tasting featured a range of expressions from the distillery which began distilling in March 2019. While we have to wait a few more years for distillery releases there are some great bottlings available currently that are worth checking out.

Clonakilty Distillery is owned by Michael Scully and his family who are the 9th generation to farm the land on the edge of the southwest coast of Ireland near Galley Head Lighthouse. This is where they also have their maturation house.

The distillery is located in the town of Clonakilty and was originally supposed to be a bank, before being used as a pre-school and then finally it was turned into a state-of-the-art distillery.

All expressions went down very well with lots of opinions as to which was the favourite on the night with particular interest in the Port and Cognac finishes as well as the new make which was a big hit. (P.S. any chance of a new make or Poitin release 😊)

The Whiskeys tasted (all non-chill filtered and natural colour):

· Single Grain – Bordeaux Cask @43.6%, NAS but a 9 YO grain whiskey finished in ex-bourbon and then for 6 months in ex-Bordeaux.

· Single Batch Double Oak @ 43.6%, a blended whiskey of approx. 70% Single Malt and 30% Single Grain (9 YO) finished in Virgin American Oak and NEOC (New Era Oak Cask) mainly ex-wine barrels from the Bordeaux region which were shaved and toasted. Currently batch 15 and circa 1,500 per batch.

· Port Cask Whiskey Finish @ 43.6% This is the same blend more or less as in the single batch but this time it’s finished for 4 months in a Port cask.

· Cognac Cask Finish @ 47%, this is a distillery exclusive blended from 6 casks in 2019 resulting in 2035 bottles. B1 had a 6-month finish in Cognac casks with the remainder getting 2 additional years before being bottled as B2. A good 50:50 mix of aged malt and grain in this blend.

· New Make Sample Pot Still @ 63%, A triple distilled whiskey from their 7,000L wash still and the Intermediate and Spirit Still. Interesting to note that there is a level of slightly downward angle on the Lyne arms of the wash and intermediate still, but the spirit still points slightly upwards and has a longer neck to give a fruitier distillate as the heavier compounds are refluxed off.

For this Pot Still Heritage Barley was used and they have a manual cut process by which they can monitor better the aroma and taste from the distillate.

All the best WWS

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