This week our Irish Whiskey News features articles on the first new cooper hired by Irish Distillers in 40 years and Redbreast Dream Cask sells out in 14 minutes
So let’s see what’s happening this week in our Irish whiskey news.
Irish Distillers has announced the appointment of Killian O’Mahony as Cooper of its Midleton distillery, following the successful completion of his apprenticeship under Master Cooper, Ger Buckley. O’Mahony is the first newly qualified Cooper at Midleton distillery in 40 years. “I come from a long line of craftsmen going back generations, so working with my hands is in my blood,” O’Mahony said, “It has been a privilege to learn the craft of coopering around the world.”
As part of his new role, Killian will be responsible for the repair and maintenance of over 1.5 million casks on site in Midleton, as well as managing various coopering and cask related projects in the distillery. Kevin O’Gorman, Head of Maturation at Irish Distillers, agreed that: “Wood is one of the most important factors to affect the taste of Irish whiskey, so the techniques involved in cooperage … are essential to the production process.”
The limited edition 20-year-old Irish whiskey was released at 3pm BST on 27 May, priced at €380 (US$424). It was launched to mark this year’s World Whisky Day on 18 May. Available exclusively to members of Redbreast’s online Birdhouse club, fans snapped up the entire collection at a rate of 65 bottles per minute. Billy Leighton, master blender at Irish Distillers, said: “In addition to selling out in record time, Redbreast Dream Cask Pedro Ximénez Edition has been bought by people from many parts of the globe. “From Ireland to Taiwan and many places in between, we’re delighted that so many Birdhouse members will soon be able to share and enjoy this exceptional creation.”
Leighton created the whiskey in partnership with blender Dave McCabe. It comprises four whiskeys aged for between 20 and 33 years. The whiskey – bottled at 52.2% abv – includes one component that was distilled in 1988 and matured in an ex-Bourbon barrel, before being transferred into a Pedro Ximénez Sherry butt in 2012; a whiskey distilled in 1995 that was first aged in an ex-Bourbon cask and then matured further in an Oloroso Sherry butt in 2012; a whiskey from 1985 that was matured in a second-fill ex-Bourbon barrel; and a 1997 vintage that was aged in a second-fill ex-Bourbon barrel.
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