New on the Irish Whiskey Map “Dingle Distillery” Irish Whiskey News

Dingle Distillery

New on the Irish Whiskey Map 

Ernie – Ernst J. Scheiner, The Gateway to Distilleries at www.whisky-distilleries.net 

This new Craft Distillery was built this year and started production, first gin and vodka, and produces now a triple distilled spirit of malted barley.  The first new make spirit trickled from the pot stills on November 29th, 2012. Master Distiller John McDougall from Scotland, who worked in production, as director or distillery manager at Scottish distilleries – Balvenie, Ladyburn,  Laphroaig, Springbank, Tormore  – was the principal consultant.  John – the whisky legend – is the only man alive to have distilled all major styles of Scottish Whisky, Irish Whiskey and above all Plymouth Gin. The Dingle pot stills were designed by the experienced Scottish whisky expert and manufactured in Scotland by Forsyths of Rothes.

…the sprit is great and the whiskey will be liquid magic!“ John praises.

The latest Irish distillery was the brainchild of Oliver Hughes, CEO of Porterhouse Brewing Company which was founded in Dublin’s night spot Temple Bar in 1996. Together with Liam LaHart he installed the first mirco-brewery in the capital and has produced stouts, ales and lagers which received renowned accolades.

West of Dingle in Milltown Hughes discovered the old Fitzgerald saw mill at Baile an Mhuilinn near the waterfront to accommodate his pot stills. For him there is no better location: “There is a huge element of romance about a distillery in the beauty of Dingle. Our whiskey matures better over six degrees celsius, so being on the Gulf Stream and the most westerly town in Europe helps that.”

Whiskey distilling tradition is back again in Kerry.

Together with John McDougall he started producing a triple distilled single malt, which will eventually become Dingle Green and Dingle Gold. It is expected that the whisky has to mature for around four to five years before it will be ready for sale. About 100,000 bottles are planned to be produced per year. Four people run the distillery now and with the new visitor centre Hughes expects to create 15 to 20 new jobs.

Oliver Hughes, who operates four pubs in Dublin, one in London and another one in New York.

Ireland‘s largest independent brewer is confident: “We craft beer in Ireland and now we want to do the same with whiskey. Whiskey is actually distilled beer, so we are fully equipped to distil anyway.”

The Dublin business man is inviting whiskey enthusiasts all over the world to purchase one of the first 500 casks filled. Prices range from €6,100 for an a first fill-bourbon, a French barrique or Spanish wine cask, to €6,400 for a Port pipe and €6,600 for a Sherry butt. “Those that do will be named a Founding Father of Dingle, this network of like-minded enthusiasts will be invited to an annual networking party at the distillery every year,” promises the newly born Irish distiller.

The opening party was on Thursday 29th, 2012. Hundreds of locals, investors and well-wishers flocked in to be part of a historic moment: the first completely new launch of an Irish Whiskey Distillery since the merger of Midleton Distilleries in the mid 1970s.  Up to now there have been only four working Irish distilleries: Bushmills, Cooley, Kilbeggan and Midleton. They are the tragic remainder of a dramatic loss compared to 1837 when 90 distilleries where  operating on the Emerald Isle. The most westerly distillery will certainly make for more diversity in Irish whiskeys. The only independent Irish distillery competes the global players Beam Inc, Diageo and Pernod-Ricard-IDG, as the fifth operating whiskey distillery.

More detailed photographic information about Irish distilleries can be found on the website www.whisky-distilleries.net.

Since October 2012 the distillery has produced the Dingle Original Gin and a pot still vodka which is called DD Vodka. Gin and vodka will be distilled in a smaller special still called OISÍN. The grain neutral spirit is imported from Sweden because at Dingle Distillery there is no column still to produce neutral spirit. Nine locally grown botanicals will flavour Dingle Original Gin: „…rowan berry, juniper, fuschia, bog myrtle, heather, chervil, hawthorn, angelica and coriander.“ The vodka is charcoal filtered to smoothen its taste. Both spirits will be released in time for Christmas, primarily for export markets and retailing at €25 per bottle.

The following technical details were kindly given by John McDougall:

Production water                                                                 deep well, 74m, soft water

Cooling water                                                                      deep well, 74m

Size of  two mash tuns                                                       1 tonne each

Weight of grist                                                                     900 kgs.

Mashing time                                                                      30 mins.

Washback capacity                                                             5,000 litres collected

Type of yeast                                                                      dried Yeast

Fermentation period                                                            Min. 48 hours

Wash still capacity                                                               5,000 litres to charge level

Heating system                                                                   stainless steel coils, steam-heated

Low wines average alcohol strength                                   25% abv

Intermediate still size                                                          1,970 litres to charge level

Heating system                                                                   stainless steel coils, steam-heated

Average alcohol strength of middle cut                               60 % abv

Spirit still capacity                                                               2,700 litres to charge level

Heating system                                                                    stainless steel coils, steam-heated

Average strength of new make                                           72% abv

Character of new make                                                       sweet, fruity, malty and creamy

Cask filling strength                                                             63.5% abv

Warehouse type                                                                  currently dunnage

Porterhouse Head Brewer Peter Mosely with a Masters in brewing and distilling will lead the Dingle production team.

A visitor centre will be built by 2014.

The Gateway to Distilleries presents photos by courtesy of John McDougall (2012). The photos are copyright by John McDougall only. The portrait is copyright by The Gateway to Distilleries 2012. 

Information (Notes)

www.dinglefoundingfathers.com

Contact: collette@thedinglewhiskeydistillery.ie.

www.johncmcdougall.com

About the Author: Ernie – Ernst J. Scheiner M.A. was a director in an adult education centre and teaches “Germans how to drink whisky.” Ernie offers courses on whisky distilling and writes for newspapers and magazines in Germany.

He is the editor of The Gateway to Distilleries at www.whisky-distilleries.net which gives an excellent insight into whisky industry

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