West Cork Distillers was formed in 2003 by childhood friends, John O’Connell, Ger McCarthy and Denis McCarthy at a time when it made very little economic sense to do so. The early years were far from glamorous, operating in a room at the back of Denis’ house in Union Hall with two small stills bought from a schnapps producer in Switzerland.
Currently the distillery operates out of a 12.5 acre site on Marsh Road, with a distillation capacity of 4mln litres of pure alcohol. With distributors across the globe, the award winning West Cork Irish Whiskey is now sold in almost 70 countries. Case sales have risen considerably every year for the past six years and the staff has grown to over 80 people, with the majority based locally in West Cork.
Distillation is carried out in eight pot stills and two column stills which produce almost 4.5 million litres of alcohol. A further three stills are dedicated to gin. Seven warehouses, which are all located on site at the distillery in Skibbereen, store up to 55,000 casks as needed. Five bottling lines operate 24 hours per day, six days per week. Every hour, there are 2,000 bottles processed on site.
A delicate blend of grain (75%) and malt (25%) whiskey matured in bourbon casks.
Nose: Vanilla, hay, biscuit crumbs, touch of glue and yellow fruit.
Palate: Poached pear, buffalo grass, a little light caramel.
Finish: Short with some orchard fruit and pepper.