Our Partner
Distillery

Quality & Commitment

The quality of the whiskey produced here is some of the finest in Ireland. The distillery holds the globally recognised Origin Green certification for sustainable production and is committed to the strict geographical indication protection guidelines for Irish whiskey, which was introduced in April 2019.

We chose this distillery for its expertise in both pot still and column still distillation; hence it produces a diverse range of Irish whiskey spirits, including grain, double malt, triple malt, peated malt, and pot still whiskey. They currently operate to a capacity of 16 million liters of whiskey spirit and also operate a small gin still. The first 3-year-old matured Irish whiskeys produced at the distillery came of age in 2018.

The primary market for our partner distillery is private labels, contract distilling, retail own label, and supplementing spirit and whiskey for smaller distilleries in both Ireland and international markets.

Dundalk Brewing & Distilling

The town of Dundalk has always been ideally suited to foster a distilling industry with its access to the purest water from the nearby Cooley Mountains. Since the late 1600s, brewing has been at the heart of the town, with The Dundalk Distillery operating between 1708 and 1926. Two distillery buildings, the grain store, and maltings, still exist and now house the County Museum and Dundalk Library.

Our partner distillery was founded on the former Great Northern Brewery site in Dundalk, Co. Louth in Ireland. The original brewery on site was established in 1896. Diageo’s association with brewing in Dundalk dates back to the late 1950s when up until 1960, the brewery had produced stout and ale. However, in response to an increased demand for a lager, Guinness converted the brewery into a modern lager operation that saw Harp Lager’s creation.

The Great Northern Brewery was the second largest brewery in Ireland until its closure in 2013 and subsequent takeover in 2015 by our partner distillery.

Products

Irish Single Malts

Their Irish single malt whiskey spirit is made using 100% malted barley. It’s usually triple distilled in copper pot stills to give it Irish Whiskey’s unique mellow flavour. There are variations in malt production which can produce a double distilled Irish malt product as well as an Irish peated malt product. This spirit is reduced to customer specifications and has a typical casking A.B.V. of 63%.

Irish Pot Still

Their Irish pot still whiskey spirit uses a blend of malted and un-malted barley. The un-malted barley is essential to pot still whiskey as it gives it a distinct spicy flavour. As required under the Geographical Indication for Irish pot still whiskey, a minimum of 30% un-malted barely and malted barley is used in the mash and then distilled in copper pot stills. This spirit is reduced to customer specifications and has a typical casking A.B.V. of 63%.

Irish Grain Whiskey

Their Irish grain whiskey spirit uses maize and a small percentage of malted barley in the mash. The grain spirit is triple distilled in columns as opposed to copper pot stills, this allows the distiller the ability to remove as many or as few congeners as they please, leading to a light delicate grain whiskey spirit. This spirit is reduced to customer specifications and has a typical casking A.B.V. of 68.5%.

Production of Malt, Pot Still and Grain Spirit

Grain Sourcing

The distillery has well-established relationships with suppliers of the most refined grains in Ireland and internationally for use in its whiskey production. Malted barley (barley that is steeped, germinated, and partially kilned) is sourced from the finest malting houses in the east of Ireland. Un-malted barley is also sourced for pot still production as well as peated malt used in peated whiskey production.

Milling & Mashing

The incoming grains at the distillery are screened and transferred to storage silos. The grains are then wet milled, exposing the inside of the grain, to form a grist. The grist is then mixed with hot water in the mash and later turned to facilitate the starch conversion process which enables the starches to change into fermentable sugars (wort).

Fermentation

The wort is then transferred to the wash-backs and yeast is added. The yeast converts the sugar in the wort to alcohol which is known as wash.

Distilling

The wash is heated in copper pot stills for malt and pot still spirit batch production. The heating causes the alcohol to boil, and the alcohol vapors rise up the neck of the still and are cooled in the vapor condenser. This process is repeated to produce ‘new fill,’ which is usually distilled three times in three separate copper pot stills. The distiller can create different flavor styles of malt and pot still spirit by altering the timing of cuts during the pot still distillation.

Casking

The spirit alcohol is reduced in the spirit vats with pure reverse osmosis water before casking. The malt and pot still spirit is reduced to customer specifications with a typical casking A.B.V. of 63%. They predominately use select American White Oak (Quercus Alba) ex-Bourbon casks, which typically have a capacity of 200lt. They also source a range of specialist casks, including sherry butts, port, rum, and wine casks for maturation and whiskey finishing.

Maturation / Ageing

During the cask maturation process, the spirit profile is developed with changes in both flavor and color. To be classed as Irish whiskey, the spirit is required to remain in a cask for a minimum of 3 years and 1 day. However, many whiskeys are matured for much longer.