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Cooley distillery

The Cooley distillery is located on the Irish peninsula of the same name near Riverstown.


When Dr. John Teeling started to distill on Easter Monday in 1987 with the Cooley Distillery, he did it with such highly esteemed whiskey personalities as Billy Walker from Scotland. The approach of distilling the spirit only twice instead of thrice as was the rule in Ireland was more inline with the Scottish approach.

The distillery is able to distill both using the pot still method and the patent still method. Old brands were resurected and new bottlings and brands were launched. Among other innovations and changes, the re-introduction of peated Irish malts as standard bottling was a significant development. Bottling fascilities were added in 1992. The water for production comes from the Sliabh na gCloch river.


In 1987 John Teeling bought Ceimici Teoranta (Chemicals Limited) a plant for the production of industrial alcohol. Among other things with the old pot stills from the Comber Distillery and a Mash Tun from the Moffat Distillery. After the renovation, production started in 1989 and quickly increased to over 1 million “New Make” products per year.

He also acquired the rights to the closed Kilbeggan Distillery, its warehouses, and the associated brands: Locke, Millar, Watt, Inishowen and Tyrconnell. The teetotaler Teeling impressed with his new bottlings and Cooley received the trophy of the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) for extraordinary achievements for the first time. In 2011 the distillery was sold to the current owner, Beam Suntory.

Cooley factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Cooley The Kilbeggan Distilling Company County Louth Ireland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1987 - Present Malt Cooley Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Noel Sweeney Beam Suntory (Suntory)

Cooley Timeline:

1987: Dr. John Teeling purchased the former neutral alcohol producing Ceimici Teoranta distillery in Riverstown

1989: The conversion into a whiskey distillery has taken place and production starts

2011 : Cooley is bought by Jim Beam for $ 95 million

Can I tour Cooley?

No, unfortunately Cooley distillery is not open to the public for tours