Herself had booked a 2 night stay in the fabulous new Drumhierny Woodland Hideaway lodges – only a short trip down the road from Drumshanbo.
Meeting friends in the lovely Jackalope Café of the distillery itself for a tasty meal I suggested a tour would be in order & a couple of us tagged along on the last one of the day.
An introductory video led us through the Curious Mind of PJ Rigney – leading onto an explanation of not only whiskey production – but gin & vodka too – The Shed Distillery do all.
No photos are allowed on the tour – but we did see the magnificent copper pot stills that make all the lovely spirit – separate stills for each category – with the attendant malty aromas too!
In the well presented tasting rooms we were led through our 1st sample – the delightful Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey with it’s creamy mouthfeel from the Barra Oats used in the mash-bill.
Interestingly on display were additional grains – including rye – as well as barrel staves – I spotted acacia wood – pointing to exciting future developments from The Shed Distillery.
A gin lab – full of exciting spices & botanicals – complete with replica Sausage Tree for the vodka – rounded off the highly informative & immersive tour before being led to the Honey Badger Bar for a complimentary drink.
A number of choices are available – my curious mind opted for the Sausage Tree Vodka. I can’t say vodka is my usual tipple – but there was some additional depth to the flavour of this extremely well presented offering.
Suitably sated – I had my eyes on the main event – the 2021 Galánta Single Malt release.
Introduced as a limited edition annual release Galánta is delivered non chill filtered, natural colour & 46%
Gentle warming vanilla & caramel offering clean & clear aromas on the nose. Easy gentle mouthfeel develops fuller, richer flavours as it slowly warms the palate. Finishes with a slight prickliness fading away slowly.
A very elegant & softly stated single malt.
Meanwhile an Express The Curiosity cocktail – from an exciting menu – presented with flair & panache was thoroughly enjoyed by my touring partner.
The Shed Distillery excels all round.
Set in the gorgeous Leitrim countryside – we later walked the Shannon Blueway, indulged ourselves at Beirne’s Bar in Battle Bridge & enjoyed the Gunpowder Gin, Sausage Tree Vodka & Drumshanbo Whiskey all made at The Shed Distillery.
After having a run of underrated bargain basement beauties with Lidl’s Liberté Rum & Dunnes’ JG Kinsey Whisky – I suppose a disappointment was inevitable.
Aldi’s Old Hopking White Rum is presented with a rather plain white label that gives little away.
‘Bottled In Germany’ it says. A common practice using ‘Imported Rum’ from undisclosed sources. Where the sugarcane or molasses came from is not stated – nor method of distillation. At this price point – that information is a bonus.
So onto a taster.
A perfumed floral aroma greeted me.
More reminiscent of my wife’s gin rather than a rum!
This followed through in the palate – which was smooth & mellow – with a mild heat to keep it real – but otherwise no defining character.
Old Hopking is a simple easy sipper – but I wasn’t expecting a rose garden in my rum!
I recently had the pleasure of revisiting Clonakilty Distillery.
Unlike the building site of my previous visit – Feb 2018 blog here – this time the gleaming copper pot stills were in full working order & the rich smells of distillation were ever present during the highly informative & enjoyable tour.
Clonakilty Minke Gin is already available – but it will be a while for their own whiskey to mature.
In the meantime a varied range of sourced whiskeys – with added maturation & finishing at Clonakilty Distillery’s own warehouses on the Wild Atlantic Way – are available at the distillery shop.
I bought a couple of miniatures – part of their core range – as well as taking away some extra samples – I was driving – to enjoy later.
Clonakilty, Single Grain, Bordeaux Cask, 43.6%
A clean, sweet & delicate fruity little number that lulls you in with gentle flavours before delivering a healthy spirity kick by way of entertainment leaving a soft fruit finish on the rear.
Clonakilty, Small Batch, Double Oak, 43.6%
Warming, more malt biscuity. There’s a fruity sweetness from the recharred ex-wine casks which give this blend a juiciness followed with a dry prickly spice from the virgin oak casks too.
Clonakilty, Cognac Cask, 43,6%
A limited edition at the distillery.
Rich warm dark fruits with a touch of nuttiness to boot. Dries out towards the finish with a pleasant spiciness.
Clonakilty, Single Malt, Single Cask, Distillery Exclusive, 43.6%
If you ever need an excuse to visit a distillery – the chance to sample an exclusive bottling is always a bonus.
Warming vanilla enticed me in. A gentle rich maltiness tinged with dry tannic spice caressed my palate. A wonderfully balanced & elegant bourbon cask matured malt.
Clonakilty, Single Pot Still New Make, unknown ABV.
A rare treat indeed!
Using the traditional – as in malted & unmalted barley only mash bill – that signature oily & slightly sour new make nose was evident. A clean & fresh feel was enjoyed before the high ABV kicked in leaving a prickly heat with a touch of spice on the finish.
A well crafted spirit for the wood to work it’s magic on.
Interestingly this new make has already won awards.
All bodes well for Clonakilty Distillery.
The stunning signature building, the lovely cafe, the enjoyable tour and the increasing use of barley from their own farm in future distillations yet to come.