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Bushmills Distillery

Originally granted a licence to distill way back in 1608, it wasn’t until 1784 a whiskey distillery eventually started at the site.

A fire in the building (an occupational hazard in distilleries) prompted an 1885 rebuild which still stands today as part of the ever expanding complex of buildings in County Antrim, part of Northern Ireland.

Bushmills today produces a popular range of blends,

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Black, Original & Red Bush Blends

A selection of age statement single malts,

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Bushmills Single Malts

and under current owners, Mexican drinks giant Jose Cuervo, a travel retail exclusive range of cask finished single malts.

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Bushmills Steamship Range.

Bushmills distillate also forms the basis of many third party blends & brands.

At one time Bushmills was one of only 2 distilleries on the island of Ireland. Both of them owned by the Irish Distillers Group.

Thankfully those lean years have gone and Irish Whiskey is expanding.

Casks Away looks forward to taking you to the very North of Northern Ireland to visit this wonderful distillery, as well as the nearby Giant’s Causeway!

Get in touch to be part of the adventure.

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All images courtesy Bushmills Distillery websites & social media.

 

 

The Burren Distillery

Despite getting planning permission (contentiously) back in 2015 there has been very little word about progress in this exciting development.

Their facebook site (from which all the images used in this blog come from) here has not been updated either.

There’s a wonderful video on a start up website here which explains a lot about the whiskey venture.

Spearheaded by a small group of locally based business people it is unclear as to the current status of this ambitious project.

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Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren

All Casks Away knows is that the Burren itself is a fabulously beautiful spot in which to enjoy a whiskey, as well as the stunning scenery, flora & fauna.

A small glass or two wouldn’t go amiss in the lovely O’Lochlainn’s Irish Whiskey Bar in nearby Ballyvaughan whilst waiting for future updates of the Burren Distillery.

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Boyle Distillery

It takes a long time to get a distillery off the ground. There are many pit falls & setbacks.

One distillery embarking on that journey is situated in the picturesque town of Boyle in County Roscommon.

Boyle, on the river of the same name, recently rose to fame on the back of the popular comedy series Moone Boy. Using local actors and with many scenes filmed in the town, there is now a tourist trail showing the film settings.

One of the main characters, Chris O’Dowd, happens to hail from Boyle himself and has backed the Stewart family who have gained planning permission (subject to conditions) to build a €10 million whiskey distillery in the listed building of a former mill.

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Casks Away will certainly be following developments with this proposed distillery.

It will be a welcome addition to the attraction of Boyle itself, as well as growing the Irish Whiskey category as a whole.

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Images courtesy of Shannonside.ie & Stewart’s Mill Distillery Boyle here.

The Boatyard Distillery

Situated on the scenic shores of Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, The Boatyard Distillery are already gaining appreciation for the use of organic ingredients in their portfolio of gin & vodka releases.

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Boatyard Gin & Vodka

Owner Joe McGirr has come back to his roots after spending years immersed in the spirits & whiskey industry abroad.

A refurbished visitors centre is due to open in 2019 to showcase their output and philosophy to making fine tasting spirits.

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istill set up at The Boatyard Distillery

Using an unconventional istill set up from Holland, (new copper pot stills are on order) The Boatyard Distillery have already experimented with producing new make malt spirit which is quietly maturing in wooden casks for the required three years before it can be called Irish Whiskey.

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Boatyard Whiskey maturing beside Lough Erne

Casks Away looks forward to visiting this innovative distillery with you.

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All images courtesy The Boatyard Distillery social media here.

Boann Distillery

Boann Distillery sits in an impressive building of glass, copper & wood overlooking the open fields of County Meath on Ireland’s East Coast.

It’s a family affair.

The Cooney family to be precise.

They have built up over 40 years experience in the drinks trade in all areas of the industry.

Now the distillery hasn’t been commissioned as yet, but in the meantime an impressive array of sourced malts & blends under The Whistler brand have been gathering awards & appreciation.

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The Whistler whiskey range.

What is also impressive is the large brewery & bottling plant that sits behind the distillery wall.

Operating as the Boyne Brewhouse they already produce an award winning array of tasty beers, stouts & cider.

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Boyne Brewhouse Beers.

A visit to this combined brewery & distillery wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of the fine locally produced foods of the nearby historic Boyne Valley in the soon to be finished Stillhouse Bistro.

Casks Away can’t wait to take you there!

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Images courtesy of Boyne Brewhouse & Boann Distillery facebook pages here & here.

Blackwater Distillery

When someone mentioned Block Chain to me I just thought it was another computer game the kids had got into.

Wrong!

From what I understand (which isn’t a lot in this instance) Block Chain is a method of digitally tracking each and every ingredient, every method and every action used in creating whiskey. Blackwater Whisky to be precise.

The whisky created at the newly opened Blackwater Distillery in Ballyduff County Waterford will be the first (to my knowledge anyway) in Ireland to use this method.

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Filling the barrels!

We’ll have to wait until at least 2021 to taste the results as their first new make spirit only entered the barrels for maturation in December 2018.

What I do understand however is the wonderfully tasting & elegant sourced whisky (Blackwater don’t use the ‘e’) they released prior to their own quietly ageing.

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Retronaut Whisky

It’s called Retronaut.

And if the team down at Blackwater can produce anything close to this fabulous whisky, Block Chain or not, I’d be an extremely happy imbiber!

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Images courtesy of Blackwater Distillery Blog here & Google here.

 

Belfast Distillery Company

Truth is often stranger than fiction.

Back in 1996 Belfast bus driver Peter Lavery won £10 million on the lottery.

Along with the usual spending, holidays, fast cars & a new house, he also set up the Belfast Distillery Company.

A number of bottles were released under some rather catchy brand names. The most obvious being Danny Boy & Titanic Whiskey which were sourced from the then Cooley Distillery.

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Titanic Irish Whiskey courtesy thewhiskeyexchange

The Titanic Whiskey was an easy drinking blend which attracted a fair amount of sales & appreciation.

All was going well until 2011 when Cooley was sold to Beam and at one fell swoop – all supply to 3rd party bottlers ceased as Beam kept the precious liquid for their own stocks!

To secure his own supply of whiskey Mr Lavery decided to start plans for a distillery in the historic building of Crumlin Road Jail.

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Old BDC logo

Everything seemed to be proceeding well.

Then it went quiet.

 

 

 

Very quiet.

 

 

 

Which is usually a sign things aren’t going well.

 

 

 

But all is not lost!

Belfast Distillery Company is now under new hands.

I’m hearing rumours through the grapevine that the project isn’t dead. In fact my sources say it’s very much alive!

Casks Away will be super excited to take whiskey fans into A Wing of Crumlin Jail.

Not to be locked up I may add, but to enjoy a taste of whiskey!

Here’s hoping the tales are true & that once more, whiskey will be made in Belfast.

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Images courtesy of The Whisky Exchange and the silent Belfast Distillery Company facebook site.

Ballykeefe Distillery

Nestled in the picturesque County Kilkenny countryside Ballykeefe Distillery are open for business.

They are busily distilling away producing a fine range of spirits including Vodka, Gin & Poitin.

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A tasty trio!

They are also laying down barrels of new make spirit to store for the required Irish time limit of 3 years before it can be called whiskey!

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Laying down barrels of whiskey to mature at Ballykeefe Oct 2018

The grains for the spirits have been grown on Ballykeefe’s own farm to truly make it a unique single estate product.

You can follow their progress on their website here.

They are also active on the usual social media sites.

Casks Away looks forward to guiding you to their doors to sample some of that Kilkenny made spirit!

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All images courtesy Ballykeefe Distillery

Achill Distillery

The number of Irish Whiskey Distilleries continues to rise.

One that is currently being built is Achill Distillery.

It’s the brain child of The Irish American Trading Co who already have a couple of releases on the market.

Irish American Whiskey

There is the Classic Blend and a 10 Year Old Single Malt.

Both are fairly decent examples of bourbon cask matured Irish Whiskey in that they have a fruity nose combined with vanilla & caramel notes from the barrel with a little hint of spice too.

Both are sourced Irish Whiskeys from other distilleries until Achill Distillery is up and running.

You can follow the progress of the distillery on The Irish American Trading Co twitter page here or website here.

As in all such ventures, Casks Away looks forward to taking whiskey fans on a journey of discovery to Achill Island to taste some of the spirit when the stills are up and running.

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Images courtesy Irish American Trading Co social media accounts.