Cooley Distillery

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Cooley Distillery
Cooley distillery logo.jpg
LocationCounty Louth
Coordinates53°59′47.9″N 6°13′17.6″W / 53.996639°N 6.221556°W / 53.996639; -6.221556Coordinates: 53°59′47.9″N 6°13′17.6″W / 53.996639°N 6.221556°W / 53.996639; -6.221556
OwnerBeam Suntory
(Suntory)
Founded1987
FounderJohn Teeling
StatusOperating
No. of stills2 pot stills (wash still: 16,000 L, spirit still: 16,000 L; 3 column stills)[1]
Websitewww.cooleywhiskey.com
Connemara Peated Single Malt
Cask type(s)Bourbon Casks[2]
ABV40%
Kilbeggan Blend
Cask type(s)Fresh Bourbon Casks, small portion in 2nd and 3rd[3]
ABV40%
Tyrconnell Single Malt
Cask type(s)Bourbon Casks[4]
ABV43%
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,[5] 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 US$95 million (€71 million).[6] The sale closed on 17 January 2012.[7] 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.

Since the change of ownership, visitor access to the distillery is limited and public tours are not available.[8]

Following the sale, John Teeling went on to found the nearby Great Northern Distillery, while his children Jack and Stephen established the Teeling Distillery in Dublin, using stock acquired from Cooley under the terms of the sale agreement with Beam.[9]

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.[10]
  • Kilbeggan Single Grain — formerly marketed as Greenore, this is a single grain whiskey, made with corn alone, and aged in Bourbon casks. Kilbeggan Single Grain 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[11] 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 Watt's Distillery (the original producers of The Tyrconnell) closed its doors.[12]
  • 2 Gingers - A blended whiskey founded in 2011 by Minnesota bar owner and businessman Kieran Folliard. The 2 Gingers Whiskey Co. was acquired by Beam Inc. a year after the product was initially released.[13]

Cooley also released a single pot still poitín, which was available at the Celtic Whiskey Shop in Dublin and at Dublin Airport, with the intention of expanding production to release it in other markets such as the US.[14] However, this has since been discontinued.[15] Similarly, Michael Collins, a single malt whiskey produced for the US market, was discontinued after the distillery was bought by Beam in 2012.[16]

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 flavour 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.[17]

Individual item awards for Cooley's products include an IWSC "Best in Class" for Kilbeggan in 2005,[18] an IWSC Gold Medal for The Tyrconnell in 2004[19] IWSC Gold Medal and Best in Class in 2010 for Greenore, and a World Whiskies Awards Best in Class in 2011 and 2012 for Greenore. [20][21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Muldoon, Seán; McGarry, Jack; Herlihy, Tim (2019). From Barley to Blarney: A Whiskey Lover's Guide to Ireland. Missoui, USA: Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4494-8993-9.
  2. ^ "Connemara Peated Single Malt". Celtic Whiskey Shop. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Kilbeggan Whiskey". Celtic Whiskey Shop. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Tyrconnell Single Malt 43%". Celtic Whiskey Shop. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Cooley Distillery". Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Cooley Distillery sold in €71m deal". RTÉ News. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Beam completes acquisition of Cooley Distillery". Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  8. ^ Birdsall, Ben(2018): The Distilleries of Ireland by Vespa, Wittenborg University Press, The Netherlands. ISBN 978-94-93066-00-7
  9. ^ Muldoon, Seán; McGarry, Jack; Herlihy, Tim. From Barley to Blarney: A Whiskey Lover's Guide to Ireland. Missouri, USA. ISBN 978-1-4494-8993-9. OCLC 1096187220.
  10. ^ "Kilbeggan Whiskey Official Site". Retrieved 30 May 2011.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Connemara Whiskey Official Site". Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  12. ^ "The Tyrconnell Heritage". Archived from the original on 12 December 2004. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  13. ^ "About 2 Gingers". Archived from the original on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  14. ^ Raskin, Hannah (27 January 2012). "Irish Moonshine Could Be the Next Absinthe". Seattle Weekly. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  15. ^ "Cooley Single Pot Still Poitín". Celtic Whiskey Shop. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Michael Collins Irish Whiskey". Celtic Whiskey Shop. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Cooley Distillery Official Site". Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  18. ^ "Kilbeggan Whiskey Awards". Retrieved 30 May 2011.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "The Tyrconnell Whiskey Awards". Archived from the original on 12 December 2004. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  20. ^ "World Whiskies Awards 2011". Archived from the original on 8 August 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  21. ^ "World Whiskies Awards 2012". Archived from the original on 12 August 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2016.

External links[edit]