Research is the key to understanding the exhilarating experiences each Irish whiskey brings to your tastebuds.
At The Whiskey Experts we thrive on new whiskey information. It is our job during our whiskey training to educate our tasters on what makes the whiskey in their glass, a world-class experience. We believe the key to understanding Irish whiskey is to taste whiskeys ranging from a wide variety of unique Irish distilleries. As of 2018 there are 18 Irish whiskey distilleries in operation, each different in their distilling approach. From large scale to modest production, the myriad of distilling techniques must be examined to acquire the knowledge and understanding of what makes each whiskey truly unique. The Experts are here to provide an inside look to what we’ve recently learned visiting a local distillery and transfer that knowledge at our whiskey training sessions.
The Great Northern Distillery, founded by John Teeling in 2015, sits in the heart of Dundalk, Co. Louth. Brian Watts, Operation Manager, invited The Whiskey Experts to see how a mega distillery maintains premium quality while producing millions of litres of whiskey a year. The size and grandeur of the refurbished old Harp Lager Brewery is obvious upon arrival. Everything is on a huge scale, from milling to maturation, areas of the striking distillery dedicated to each step of the whiskey process. Whilst passing through the warehouse, barley from every corner of the country was arriving every few minutes. Our tour was engaging and stimulating to all the senses.
The highlight of our tour was the heart and mind of any distillery, the lab. This is where the barley, water, yeast and new make are all checked to the highest available standards. To visit a lab of this standard, with staff so open and knowledgeable is beyond value. This is were new creations and old solid blends are conceived and maintained. To taste exciting new cask finishes, to see the spirits as they age over time. We even got to nose and admire a 73 year old Irish whiskey, but were sworn to secrecy on its future direction.
After the lab we saw the whiskeys in their new home. Thousands, upon thousands, of filled casks ready to start their long journey of wood breathing. Who knows where this whiskey will end up, but we know that we will be looking forward to sampling some of their products for years to come.
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