The Equaliser

It’s Good Friday, and West Cork Distillers is going through an audit for its organic certification. John O’Connell is practically running he is walking so fast. All is going well with the audit; O’Connell seems pleased. Despite breaking the land speed record as he moves from room to room, he still finds the time to […]

The Heretic

Mark Reynier believes the Vikings invented whisky. The nomadic distiller claims that, contrary to the common belief that it was Irish monks who discovered it, it was the Vikings who first started to distill barley to make the water of life. Why would monks make such strong spirit, Reynier counters to anyone who objects to […]

Coull runnings

Kerry is Ireland at cask strength. As a Cork man, it pains me greatly to say anything nice about our neighbours to the west, but The Kingdom is a place of raw and startling beauty. Obviously there is a danger here of over-romanticising it, engaging in some noble savage mythos with proto-fascist symbolism of pure […]

Blue blood and brown spirit at Powerscourt Distillery

There are three key strands to any whiskey marketing campaign. First, there is place; your water is the cleanest, your loch is the coldest, your warehouses are kissed by the sea, your home is where the hearts are. Then there are the people; tales of founders, their ancestors, coopers, barrelmen, distillers, gaugers, bootleggers. Finally, there […]

Indo col 105

I sometimes joke that if our house went on fire, the first thing I would save is the computer. I usually qualify this by explaining that obviously, I would drag people out first, but of the personal belongings, the computer would be the only one worth running back into a burning building for. This isn’t […]

Pearse Lyons

After the passing of Dr Pearse Lyons of Alltech a year ago, I wrote this tribute piece for FFT.ie: Dr Thomas Pearse Lyons was a man who looked beyond the surface. Many business empires are built on marketing and spin, but Dr Lyons, a consummate scientist, spent his career looking deeper into animal nutrition, brewing […]