The Cooley Distillery was established by John Teeling who, after studying in America, concluded that there was a solid market for a new Irish Whiskey brand. (That and he realised that the scrap value alone of the distillery he was about to buy made the purchase worthwhile.) Teeling acquired the Ceimici Teo Distillery in 1987. He renamed the Dundalk-based distillery Cooley. Cooley was the first whiskey distillery to be founded in Ireland for over a century and it was not long before the owners began to acquire famous brands and distilleries that had been mothballed. Tyrconnell and Kilbeggan were amongst the number. The Kilbeggan distillery itself was reopened in 2007 and is run in conjunction with Cooley and proffers the company’s storage facilities. During the 1990s, the Cooley distillery launched Connemara, Ireland’s only peated whisky.
In 2011 Beam Inc. purchased Cooley and have since concentrated on the core range, with a special interest in the Kilbeggan blend. At the end of 2013, Suntory then bought Beam for the princely sum of $16 billion! The Teelings, meanwhile, have started a new venture, Teeling Whiskey Company. They plan to return whiskey distilling to Dublin.
Nose: Well-smoked and peated, heather freshness and floral notes with a honeyed sweetness and a little wood. Kippers and well baked apple crumble.
Palate: Full and smooth with notes of malt and peat, honeyed, clean smoke and barley sweetness.
Finish: Long and pungent with honey and peat smoke.