Cooley Distillery

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Cooley Distillery
Type Subsidiary
Industry Distilled beverage
Founded 1987
Founder(s) John Teeling
Headquarters County Louth, Ireland
Products Irish whiskey
Malt whiskey and grain whisky
-Kilbeggan
-Connemara
-Tyrconnell
-Greenore
Revenue 15.9 million (2010)[1]
Owner(s) Beam Suntory
Website www.cooleywhiskey.com
Cooley Distillery in the Cooley Mountains
Cooley's copper pot stills

Cooley Distillery is an Irish whiskey distillery, located on the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth, Ireland,[2] converted in 1987 from an older potato alcohol plant by John Teeling. On 16 December 2011 Beam Inc. announced plans to purchase Cooley for around USD $95 million (71 million).[3] The sale closed on 17 January 2012.[4] Beam was then purchased by Suntory Holdings on 30 April 2014, and became its Beam Suntory subsidiary.

History[edit]

John Teeling bought the former State potato schnapps distillery in 1985. In less than two years, Teeling converted the distillery to have two column stills.

In 1998, Cooley received a trophy at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) for outstanding quality, and for earning an impressive reputation over time. Cooley was the first distillery to be awarded the trophy.

In December 2011, Cooley was purchased by Beam Inc. for $95 million (€71 million). Beam was then purchased by Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan on 30 April 2014, and became its Beam Suntory subsidiary.


Current product range[edit]

  • Kilbeggan — a blended whiskey, Kilbeggan was originally distilled at the Kilbeggan Distillery, which is now owned by Cooley. Best known for its non-age stated version, in 2007, a 15-year aged version was released. An 18-year aged whiskey has also been released.[5]
  • Greenore — a single grain whiskey, Greenore is made with corn alone, and aged in Bourbon casks. Greenore is found with several age statements; 6-, 8-, 15-, and 18-year versions are produced, although the 15- and 18-year releases are relatively rare (5,000 and 4,000 bottles, respectively).
  • Connemara — a peated single malt whiskey, Connemara is double-distilled[6] rather than the more usual triple-distillation process that most Irish whiskeys undergo. It is aged in Bourbon casks. Several versions are found; single-cask, cask-strength, 12-year, and a high-peat version called "Turf Mór."
  • The Tyrconnell — a single malt whiskey, The Tyrconnell was acquired as a brand by Cooley in 1988 after being dormant since 1925, when the Old Watts Distillery (producers of The Tyrconnell) closed its doors.[7]
  • 2 Gingers - A blended whiskey founded in 2011 by Minnesota bar owner and businessman Kieran Folliard. 2 Gingers Whiskey Co. was acquired by Beam Inc. a year after the product was initially released.[8]

Cooley has also released a poitín, available at a single store in Dublin and the Dublin airport, with the intention of expanding production to release it in other markets such as the US.[9]

Distillation process[edit]

The distillery features both column stills and pot stills for distillation. Unlike most other Irish whiskeys, which are usually distilled three times, Cooley's products are generally distilled twice, as the third distillation is thought to remove some of the flavor components.

Critical acclaim[edit]

Cooley has won over 300 medals since opening. Other awards they have received include "European Distiller of the Year" in 2008 and 2009 and "Distillery of the Year" in 2008 from the International Wine and Spirit Competition and "Distillery of the Year" in 2010 from Malt Advocate magazine.[10]

Individual item awards for Cooley's products include an IWSC "Best in Class" for Kilbeggan in 2005,[11] an IWSC Gold Medal for The Tyrconnell in 2004[12] IWSC Gold Medal and Best in Class in 2010 for Greenore, and a World Whiskeys Awards Best in Class in 2010 for Greenore.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Beam buys last independent Irish whiskey distillery". Financial Times. 
  2. ^ "Cooley Distillery". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Cooley Distillery sold in €71m deal". RTÉ News. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Beam completes acquisition of Cooley Distillery". Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Kilbeggan Whiskey Official Site". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Connemara Whiskey Official Site". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Tyrconnell Heritage". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "About 2 Gingers". 
  9. ^ Raskin, Hannah (27 January 2012). "Irish Moonshine Could Be the Next Absinthe". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Cooley Distillery Official Site". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Kilbeggan Whiskey Awards". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  12. ^ "The Tyrconnell Whiskey Awards". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 

External links[edit]