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 […]
What is single pot still whiskey? Is it the past, is it the future? Is it a uniquely Irish style of whiskey, an Irish Irish whiskey, a category within the category? Is it our secret weapon, or is it a marketing trick? Is it a common style, found around the world, a simple mixed mash […]
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 […]
I can still remember the first time I read Vice. It was a 2009 Babes of the BNP piece that summed up their ethos – sleazy, funny, and cruel. From the get-go I loved their skate-punk nihilism and cartoonish approach to journalism – a mix that that saw them become the go-to resource for disenfranchised […]
Bernard Walsh always strikes me as a hail-fellow-well-met-kind-of-chap. He has built an incredible brand in Walsh Whiskey, and then went on to build an incredible distillery in Royal Oak in Carlow. This makes this news all the sadder, as watching any relationship fail – be it personal or professional or both – is never easy. […]
It’s that time of year when we look at trends for 2019. Actually, that time of year was about two months ago, in a different year, but I was busy then, so it has taken until now to get this done. Predicting drinks trends is a risky business – do you play it safe by […]
It was another boom year for Irish whiskey – Blackwater and Powerscourt both came to life, Nephin are gearing up to build, and Bono and Paddy McKillen bought into a proposed distillery for Monasterevin. It is an exciting time, and a sure sign that Irish whiskey was accelerating was the appearance of our first celebrity […]
“Nobody knows anything about us,” John O’Connell says of West Cork Distillers, the firm he co-founded and has poured 17 years of his life into. It seems incongruous – at a time when Irish whiskey is booming, one of the most grassroots, ground-up operations in the country is also one of its least well-known. This […]
In the hills outside of Midleton lies the village of Clonmult. It is one of those blink-and-you-miss it places that is hard to find when you look for it, and passes by almost unnoticed when you drive through it. There isn’t a huge amount of things to see up there – the site of one […]
Shift work is inhuman. There is something utterly unnatural about being awake all night. There are some who thrive on shift work, but they are a minority – most of us do it for the money, or because it suits our homelife, but very few do it because they like it. I only did nine […]
Loving whiskey can be a bit lonely. It’s a bit like trainspotting – both involve a love of history and engineering, lots of note taking and bringing a camera everywhere. Granted, whiskey is a lot more fun, as you get to do all those things whilst half cut, but you get the idea – it […]
In 2013, Barry Crockett retired from his role as master distiller in Midleton. His father Max was master distiller before him, and the family lived in the distiller’s cottage on the grounds. It was in this house that Barry was born. It was an old way of life in distilling, one that just […]
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
I’ve long been a fan of Writers Tears – even on a purely aesthetic level, I would sing its praises. Fortunate then that, beneath the surface, it is also a cracking whiskey. Walsh have recently released another expression in the family, and because every Irish family has at least one ginge in it, this one […]
All the winners that listed the Republic of Ireland as their country of origin – including the Cotswolds Cream Liqueur.
You just can’t go wrong with Powers. It is my drink of choice on the rare occasion that I actually get out for the night. It’s easily found in most pubs, is reasonably priced, and – to my palate – packs a bigger punch than it’s more popular sibling, Jameson. I always think of Indian food […]