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Cooley Distillery

Irish Whiskey was in a different place back in 1987.

There were only 2 distilleries, New Midleton and Bushmills, controlled by 1 company, Irish Distillers.

Then Cooley opened and changed the scene.

They double distilled.

They peated.

They acquired and revived long lost whiskey brands.

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Cooley Whiskey Brands

They sold to 3rd parties like supermarket chains and independent bottlers.

They opened up the market.

Cooley has never had a visitors centre.

Now part of the Beam/Suntory Group, Cooley continues to make whiskey.

The visitors centre is at the sister distillery of Kilbeggan in County Westmeath.

Those involved in Cooley are now part of Great Northern Distillery,  Teeling Distillery, Powerscourt Distillery as well as others.

Cooley’s involvement in the rebuilding of Irish Whiskey cannot be underestimated.

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Images courtesy of and Kilbeggan Distilling Co here.

Connacht Distillery

Situated on the banks of the River Moy in the picturesque County Mayo town of Ballina, Connacht Distillery have been laying down their distillate for the last few years.

They have released award winning Gin, Vodka  and Poitin from their own stills.

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While their own whiskey quietly matures a number of innovative sourced whiskeys have pleased many a drinker.

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Sharing the American and Irish connections of their founders, The Brothership is a blend of 10  year old Irish Malt combined with 10 year old American Rye.

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Always worth a tasting!

A well stocked visitors shop together with a warm and friendly tasting room at the end of the distillery tour certainly make a trip to this facility an enjoyable experience.

Let Casks Away take you there!

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All images courtesy Connacht Distillery website and social media here.

Clonakilty Distillery

If your’re going to build a distillery you might as well build it in a glass fronted statement building that shows off the gleaming copper of your pot stills.

Clon stills

If your going to release a whiskey you might as well release a clutch of attractively labelled and tasty spirits that will grab attention.

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If you’re going to build a distillery you might as well build it in the stunning scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Because that’s exactly what Clonakilty Distillery have done.

Isn’t it about time you visited Clonakilty Distillery by letting Casks Away take you there?


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All images courtesy of Clonakilty Distillery website and social media accounts.

Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey

Chapel Gate aren’t a distillery.

They are whiskey bonders.

Chapel Gate have revived the lost art of whiskey bonding to a family farm in County Clare.

Whiskey bonding used to be common practice in Irish Whiskey’s hey day.

The bonder would buy whiskey from the distillery, (or distilleries), barrel it in casks of their own choosing, mature it, blend it, mix it and bottle it to their own requirements under their own labels for sale.

JJ Corry was an active bonder in the Clare town of Kilrush which nearby Chapel Gate have revived for their modern operations.

Spearheaded by founder Loiuse McGuane, Chapel Gate have released award winning blend The Gael,

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JJ Corry Flintlock & Gael Whiskey

As well as top in it’s class single malt The Flintlock.

A new blending room and visitors centre are due to open soon.

Casks Away are eager to whisk you away on an adventure to West Clare to explore the lost art of whiskey bonding.

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All images courtesy Chapel Gate Whiskey website here.

Blacks Brewery And Distillery, Kinsale

Blacks Of Kinsale are synonymous with producing a fine range of heavily hopped IPA beers.

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Blacks Of Kinsale beers.

They also have a distillery producing a varied range of spirits which have included Moonshine, Gin and Rum.

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Blacks Irish Gin & Spiced Irish Rum

They have recently experimented with whiskey too.

But in the meantime, as many others do while their own stock matures, have released a sourced 12 year old single malt.

Blacks Whiskey
Blacks Irish Whiskey

If the liquid inside tastes as cool as it looks I’m sure it will be a stunner.

Casks Away looks forward to future releases from this innovative and enterprising brewery/distillery company.

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All images courtesy of Blacks Of Kinsale website and social media.




Cape Clear Distillery

Planning permission to build a whiskey distillery on the Island of Cape Clear off the South West Coast of Ireland was granted in 2016.

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Flying the flag for Inis Cléire, Cape Clear.

Building works are now proceeding and can be followed on Cape Clear Distillery’s website here as well as their social media sites.

Gin stills are on order and will hopefully be in place for a release later this year.

Dún An Óir Irish Whiskey

The whiskey will take a little longer, although designs for both bottles are already on show.

Cape Clear is accessed by boat from Baltimore, County Cork, and is a wonderful attraction on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Casks Away looks forward to future updates from this Island venture adding as it does to the rich tapestry of Irish Whiskey.


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All images and video courtesy Cape Clear Distillery

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.

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 & 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.