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The Dingle Cask No. 2: Collector’s Item
“A Glass Apart”, a book written by Fionnan O’Connor, is becoming increasingly popular for being the most comprehensive guide to Irish whiskey. He recently came back from Hong Kong for a trade mission and he only has one thing in mind: the bottling of a brand new Irish whiskey, “Dingle Cask No. 2”.
Bottling of Irish Whiskey
The Dingle Cask No. 2 is the bottling of the first cask in the Dingle distillery that has reached maturity. Bottled three years ago, the cask’s journey to maturation in an American Bourbon cask has been closely monitored; from the beginning, middle, and the end of the maturation process. He expects only great things from the finished product, describing it as a light drink that is basically different from the others on the market.
When asked on how he can be so certain, O’Connor says that the bottling of the single malt reveals the truth of the modern Irish whiskey market. While there are many whiskey brands that have been on the shelves over the past few years, the Dingle whiskey is actually the first single malt whiskey from Ireland in the past 25 years.
“The new Irish whiskey industry is partly a mirage. The new whiskeys are great, the enthusiasm they’ve generated has been fantastic but what they don’t often admit is that the majority of the new brands are all distillates from the same great distillery — Cooley,” says O’Connor.
Cooley, which was established by John Teelin in the 1980s, was sold to a company based in the US (Beam Inc) in 2012. Beam was eventually bought by a Japanese company, Suntory Holdings, last year. Distillates from Cooley are now supplying the main Irish independent labels, according to O’Connor, as various distilleries wait for the maturation of their own spirits.
The boom of the Irish whiskey industry is still in the corner and what Dingle will be producing may help in defining that “boom”.
“In about eight years many of the new distillers will have produced their own truly new Irish whiskies and the race for dominance will really begin,” says O’Connor.
Dingle Cask No. 2
Dingle Cask No. 2 will be producing 200 bottles which will be priced at €350 each, many of those are already reserved for the Founding Fathers of the distillery. Founding Fathers is an investment scheme wherein people purchase casks at a competitive rate and take part in the making of the Dingle Distillery.
Being priced at €250 per bottle, it’s quite expensive; however, the bottling of the cask is also a collector’s item.
“It marks the beginning of a new journey for the distillery. By Easter 2016, enough of the casks will have reached maturity to start bottling and marketing Dingle Single Malt and Dingle Pot Still on an ongoing basis. After that it’s about distribution and reaching out to new markets,” says Oliver Hughes, whose Porterhouse Group has a distillery.
Dingle Cask No. 2 is available at the Dingle Whisky Bar in Dublin from December 21st.
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