Historic release of Connacht’s first whiskey in over a century

Owner PJ Rigney and head distiller Brian Taft trying out the distinctive whiskey (Photo: Brian Farrell)

Every single bottle from this extremely rare first batch contains whiskey from iconic 2014 cask which has been in hibernation for over four years and 11 months.



20 December 2019 | 0

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History has been made with the release of the first whiskey distilled in Connacht in over a century.

Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is the inaugural whiskey release from The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney in Drumshanbo Co. Leitrim, which made international headlines on Winter Solstice, 21 December 2014 when it distilled the first cask of whiskey in all of Connacht for over 101 years.

Every single bottle from this extremely rare first batch contains whiskey from that same iconic cask which has been in hibernation for over four years and 11 months. Although whiskey officially comes of age after three years and a day, distillery founder PJ Rigney and head distiller Brian Taft would not release one precious drop of The Shed ‘Premier Grand Cru’ Irish Whiskey before it was ‘just right’.

Malted and un-malted Irish barley and uniquely, Irish Barra oats, form part of the special recipe, all carefully slow-distilled by hand in medieval copper pot stills; 100% Irish and 100% natural, non-chill filtered and no colour added, true to traditional distillation methods.

The golden amber colour has deepened gradually as the whiskey matured in American Bourbon and Sherry Oloroso casks.

Each cask was carefully selected by head distiller Brian Taft, guaranteeing absolute consistency and authenticity in every single bottle. Over a number of weeks, Brian Taft personally tasted samples from over 100 of the first casks distilled, selecting those that were at just the right maturity. A perfect balance of creamy vanilla and caramel touches from the Bourbon casks balances with the slightly spicier hints from the Sherry Oloroso casks, leading to a pleasant experience, a warming effect .

Just 5,000 of the limited edition 12,000 bottles in this historic batch will be released this side of Christmas, and exclusively in Ireland. Every bottle is individually numbered, sealed and labelled by the proud team at the distillery.

Now whiskey collectors across the world are vying to get their hands on one of the early bottles from this iconic first batch, which bears a hallmark so rare, that it is impossible to emulate for at least 101 years, and unlikely to be realised for centuries to come – if ever.

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