Distiller’s Friday Roundup – March 8th, 2019By Mikael Mossberg
This week was about as whiskey-heavy as it gets. St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon, bringing with it news of Ireland’s 23rd Operational Distillery opening and a Tullamore D.E.W. campaign. Also, it seems that Barton 1792’s bad luck continues with a huge spill of 120,000 gallons of fermented mash. Furthermore, Beam Suntory is unveiling Legent Bourbon, Flaviar debuts Son of a Peat Batch 02 and Westland announces its second annual barrel exchange release. All that and much more down below, so pour yourself a dram and read on.
Clonakilty Becomes Ireland’s 23rd Operational Distillery
Once the center of the whiskey producing universe, Ireland is working its way back towards its former glory. In the late 1800s, over 30 distilleries called Ireland home. However, by the 1980s that number had dwindled to a meager three.
By the mid 2000s that all began to change. Irish whiskey was in high demand and new distilleries were opening constantly. This past Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, Clonakilty Distillery officially became Ireland’s 23rd operational distillery. It currently sells Clonakilty Single Batch Irish Whiskey, Clonakilty Port Cask Finish Irish Whiskey, Clonakilty Bordeaux Cask Finish Single Grain and Minke Irish Gin.
Clonakilty Distillery, Ireland’s 23rd Operational Distillery
Located in Cork, Clonakilty Distillery and Visitor Centre is now open to visitors. In addition, the site houses a gin school and bistro called The Whale’s Tail.
“Clonakilty Distillery will play a strong role in driving this growth, educating Irish and overseas visitors on the heritage and innovation of today’s booming Irish whiskey industry,” says William Lavelle, head of the Irish Whiskey Association.
Tullamore D.E.W. Presents O’Everyone
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner (March 17th, 2019 specifically), Tullamore D.E.W. has teamed up with Irish digital media agency Irish Central to create O’Everyone. Well-known non-Irish bars and restaurants in four cities across the United States will be re-branded into Irish mashups. They’ll get new names, logos and menus during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
“If ye don’t have an O in your last name, we’re here to give ye one and say anybody can be Irish on St.
Paddy’s Day,” says Tim Herlihy, National Ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey. “We’re proud
to be working with this killer group of talent from all backgrounds in the food and cocktail world, and we’re
excited to celebrate with everyone on our favorite holiday of the year.”
New York City
– Chef JJ Johnson’s Caribbean/American South concept Gibson + Luce will become O’Johnson’s.
– French Champagne spot Flute Bar will become O’Flute’s.
– Indian/Australian eatery Babu Ji will become O’Babu Ji’s.
– Santa Monica’s Mexican restaurant Gilbert’s El Indio will become O’Gilbert’s.
– Indian restaurant O’Bombay’s will showcase Irish stout and curry mashups.
– Gladstones in Malibu will become O’Gladstones.
– Hollywood’s cocktail lounge Spare Room will be O’Spare Room.
Tim Herlihy, National Ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W.
– Mexican restaurant by day, nightclub by night El Hefe will transform into O’Hefe.
– Bub City’s Country Western Honky Tonk will become O’Bub’s.
– BIG Bar at the Hyatt Regency will become O’BIG’s.
– A tropical Irish hybrid with O’Tiki Rock.
– Southern dive Loretta’s Last Call will become O’Loretta’s.
– Menotomy patriotic tavern will become O’Menotomy’s.
In addition to these celebrations, fans can head to OEveryone.com to order custom t-shirts with their own last name with an O’ added to it. Shirts are $20 each. And remember, it’s St. Patrick’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day, but never St. Patty’s; that’s short for for Patricia.
Giant Spill Reported At Barton 1792 Distillery
By any measure, Barton 1792 has had a rough go over the past 12 months. Back in June and July of 2018, one of the bourbon warehouses at the Bardstown distillery collapsed, sending roughly 18,000 barrels of bourbon to the ground. This week, the brand weathered yet another mishap at the Bardstown distillery.
On Tuesday, March 5th, one of the legs of a 55,000 gallon beer well broke, overturning the tank and spilling all of the fermented mash within. When the first tank fell, it hit and punctured three other tanks. 120,000 gallons are believed to have spilled into a secondary containment, while 10,000 gallons escaped into a storm drain leading to a tributary.
Barton 1792 Distillery
Two employees were injured and taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries and then later released.
It is believed that most of the spill was prevented from entering the Beech Fork River and that there is no threat to drinking water, as the nearest intake point is nearly 100 miles away.
Gordon & MacPhail Unveil Plans For Cairngorms Distillery
In June of last year, Gordon & MacPhail announced plans to construct a new distillery in Craggan, near Grantown-on-Spey in Scotland. Now the brand has released designs for the distillery that it will built inside Cairngorms National Park.
Once construction is complete the site will initially be able to produce 375,000 litres of spirit each year, although the distillery itself will be capable of producing two million litres. The building will look over the River Spey and have a circular design with a living roof.
Cairngorms Distillery Rendering
This new distillery will be Gordon & MacPhail’s second following its purchase and refurbishment of the Benromach Distillery.
Diageo Recruits UK’s First Female Apprentice Coopers
Somewhat surprisingly, until now there have never been female apprentice coopers in the United Kingdom. Spirits giant Diageo is changing that. Angela Cochrane and Kirsty Olychick have joined The Coopering School alongside 14 other apprentice coopers at Diageo’s Cambus Cooperage in Clackmannanshire, Scotland. The course is four years long and will teach apprentices how to make oak casks used in the maturation of Scotch whisky.
“It’s a lot more complex than I thought it would be and I’m knackered when I get in at night, but everything from handling barrels to swinging the hammer is already starting to feel a lot more natural,” says Cochrane, a 31-year-old former psychiatric nurse.
UK’s First Female Apprentice Coopers
“Having family members who’d previously completed trade apprenticeships helped give me the confidence to go for it,” says Olychick, a 38-year-old who left her home in Canada to pursue a career in Scotch whisky. “I like the fact that you learn the skill by hand—you get the satisfaction of seeing the job done rather than reading about it in a book.”
Cochrane and Olychick’s recruitment comes at the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week on March 4th.
Beam Suntory Unveils Legent Bourbon
The release of Legent Bourbon marks the first new standalone bourbon brand from Beam Suntory in 27 years. Legent is a collaboration between the two halves of Beam Suntory, with Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe and Suntory chief blender Shinji Fukuyo working together to bring it to life.
This Kentucky straight bourbon, made by Noe, includes three components. The first component is the bourbon itself, which matured for roughly five years. Secondly, some of this bourbon was then finished in California red wine casks for approximately one extra year. Thirdly, some was finished in sherry casks for approximately two extra years. Shinji then blended the whiskeys to create the final result.
It is bottled at 47% ABV and will begin hitting shelves over the coming months.
Flaviar Announces Launch of Son of a Peat Batch 2
Back at the tail end of 2017, spirits club Flaviar announced its very first ever private label product, Son of a Peat Batch 01. That peated blended malt consisted of eight single malts from three different regions: Islay, Islands and Speyside. Only 1,500 bottles were made of the first batch.
Now the brand is back with a second release, Son of a Peat Batch 02. This peated blended malt consists of nine single malts from four different regions: Islay, Islands, Speyside and Highlands.
The blended malt matured in a combination of hogsheads, sherry butt casks and ex-bourbon casks. At 47.2% ABV, there are only 2,000 bottles available for this batch release. Availability begins March 4th with a price of $65 per 750ml bottle, exclusively to Flaviar members.
Westland Black Raven Brewing Co. American Single Malt
Starting in 2018, Seattle-based American single malt whiskey distillery Westland began conducting annual exchanges with Washington breweries to age some of its whiskey. The first release last year was a collaboration with Bellingham-based Kulshan Brewing Co., Westland Distillery Kulshan Brewing Co. Cask Exchange 1.
This year marks the second edition of the cask exchange program, this time with Westland Distillery Black Raven Brewing Co. Cask Exchange 2. First, Black Raven uses a Westland cask to age its beer. Then, the cask returns to Westland to age American Single Malt Whiskey for a minimum of 53 months.
Westland Distillery Black Raven Brewing Co. Cask Exchange 2 is releasing on March 9th, 2019 at the Westland Distillery for $99.99. Only 952 bottles will be available, bottled at 50% ABV.
Tamdhu Limited Edition 15 Year Old Whiskey
This week Ian Macleod Distillers, the owners of Tamdhu Distillery, announced the launch of a brand new 15-year-old single malt whisky. Tamdhu 15 Year was matured exclusively in American and European oak oloroso seasoned casks.
Tamdhu 15 Year will be a limited annual release and will be available later in March 2019 at specialty retailers. Bottled at 46% ABV its suggested price is £84.99 (~$112).
Whether it’s Legent Bourbon, Son of a Peat Batch 02 or Westland Distillery Black Raven Brewing Co. Cask Exchange 2, there are some mouth watering things coming to shelves near you.