Clonakilty distillery

The Clonakilty Distillery is a young whiskey distillery near the coast in West Cork, Ireland. Ireland’s whiskey industry is in a renaissance that is giving the new project a strong tailwind. In the eighth generation of the Scully family, they work the fields of West Cork and now they start the whiskey business. The Clonakilty distillery, which was only officially opened in March 2019, will produce a classic triple distilled single pot still Irish whiskey. In the visitor center, the distillery is expected to accommodate up to 40,000 guests per year and, with a combination of café, restaurant and shop, will convince guests of Irish whiskey and, of course, clonakilty . Distillery founder Michael Scully also promises around 40 new jobs for the West Cork region.

How does Clonakilty Whiskey taste?

Since the young distillery is currently unable to obtain its own whiskey from the warehouses, it sells three sourced Irish whiskies. The whiskies come from another Irish distillery (presumably Midleton) and are offered in three varieties.

  • The Clonakilty Single Batch is a blended Irish whiskey made from eight year old grain whiskey and 10 year old triple distilled malt whiskey.
  • The The Port Cask Clonakilty carries no information on the age or the composition and was finishing takes in Port barrels.
  • The Single Grain Bordeaux is a nine year old grain whiskey, finished in Bordeaux casks.

How is Clonakilty whiskey made?

According to Irish tradition, Clonakilty will distill a triple distilled single pot still whiskey. The Single Pot Still Whiskey is a unique type of whiskey that was created by the high taxation of malted barley in Ireland in the 18th century. In contrast to most Scottish single malt whiskies, many Irish whiskies are triple distilled, which is supposed to give them a milder character. The three copper stills, or pot stills, can be viewed from outside through the tall glass windows of the distillery. Paul Corbett, who previously worked for Teeling Whiskey and Tipperary Whiskey and is therefore not a novice in the field of fine-tuning and startup distilleries, has been recruited as head distiller.

The water for the production process comes from a spring whose water has flowed through sandstone and barite. The distillery’s warehouses are located on the oceanfront on the cliffs of the West Cork coast. We’re curious to see how the whiskey maturing there will change over the years and whether, as the distillery hopes, it will develop a maritime character.

The County of Cork is emerging as a serious whiskey region. In addition to the “new” Midleton Distillery, which has been producing the famous Jameson Irish Whiskey, the classic single pot still whiskey Redbreast and many other well-known and popular Irish whiskies since 1975, Clonaklity also has experienced neighbors with West Cork Distillers. And the first island distillery in Corks and Ireland’s Cape Clear is already in the starting blocks. We can look forward to the future of Cork and Irish whiskey.

Clonakilty factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Clonakilty Ireland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 2019 - Present Malt Clonakilty Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group