• Must be tasted to be understood

WhiskeyGinVodka

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About Us

The Dingle Whiskey Distillery is not in the business of creating megabrands, nor do we distil for anyone else. Our scale is modest, our approach to what we make is essentially artisan and we have rekindled the tradition of independent distilling in Ireland. Two hundred years ago, this small island had over a hundred officially recognised distilleries; by the turn of this century there were two.

When the first spirit trickled from the stills here in November 2012 it represented a milestone in the history of distilling in Ireland.

Already our unique Dingle Whiskey is maturing in the mild, moist climate of Ireland’s south-west coast and, as it does so, you can enjoy the fruits of our labours in the form of Dingle Original Gin and Dingle Distillery Vodka.

Whiskey

When the first drops of new spirit started to flow in the Dingle Distillery on a cold November night in 2012 something momentous was happening. This was the first whiskey to be produced in Ireland outside of the big three: Midleton, Cooley and Bushmills. The spirit was literally reborn.

Of course, Dingle is small. Our output of whiskey is 2 casks per day so we will never create a global megabrand. That is not what Dingle is about. We are creating a whiskey of superlative quality and unique character, the essence of Irish pot still distilled and matured on the far Atlantic coast of Ireland.

A key part of this process - and it has been a lengthy one - was a conversation between our founder Oliver Hughes and our distilling guru, John McDougall. Oliver said to John that when you taste new spirit it always tastes fiery and harsh and then the distiller will reassure you by saying something like "Oh, just you wait until it’s been in cask for a few years. It'll be so smooth..." Well, added Oliver, how about putting nice, smooth spirit in the cask in the first place? Was this a revolutionary idea? And how could it be achieved?

John then explained that what you need for nice, smooth spirit, is plenty of reflux. You need a still with a built-in bulge in the neck - a boil bowl - so that the vapour doesn't all rise right up and condense beyond the drop. You need it to condense and fall back into the still a few times before it eventually condenses and drips into the receiver. And so it was that we modified our still design.

Our very special stills are a key part of the Dingle Story. We take the best Irish malted barley and make pure pot still malt whiskey. Then we put it in casks and let the mild, moist, unique Dingle air do the rest. No whiskey in Scotland or Ireland experiences a maturation process like that. Dingle is definitely Dingle.

Of course, making whiskey is all about patience. The first Dingle Whiskey will be released in 2016 which happens to be the centenary of Irish independence. Given our independent nature, we feel that this is a happy coincidence.

Gin

At present there are only two gins made in Ireland and one of these is the hand-crafted, artisan Dingle Original Gin. It is the product of a considerable amount of research, both technical and historical, and experimentation. Our aim was to create a totally new gin, one which worked within the great tradition of gin distilling but which also came with a degree of innovation.

Dingle Original Gin is made in small batches of 500 litres. In terms of its broad style, this is what is categorised as a London dry gin but the unique character and flavour come from our painstaking and original choice of botanicals.

This secret combination of flavour elements are macerated in spirit for 24 hours. Then, when the spirit is distilled, it passes through a flavour basket in the neck of the still. This underlines the attention to detail that is an essential part of our whole approach to the art of distillation.

We are not prepared to reveal our recipe but are happy to give some idea of what is involved in creating the unique flavour profile of Dingle Original Gin.. We use, amongst other botanicals, rowan berry from the mountain ash trees, fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorn and heather for a taste of the Kerry landscape. It’s a formula unknown elsewhere and is calculated, amongst other things, to create some sense of place and provenance, what winemakers might call the gout de terroir.. The spirit is collected at 70% abv and then cut to 40% abv using the purest of water which we draw from our own well, 240 feet below the distillery.

Peter Mosley sums up DOG's unique character in a few words: “The uniquely Irish botanicals give a fabulously fresh, floral character that perfectly balances the traditional juniper. But, to be honest, you really have to taste it for yourself.”

Dingle Distillery Vodka

We set out to make a really, really good vodka but even we were surprised when we tasted the first batch. It was one of those rare times when you get perfectly right at the first go. Again, it must be tasted to be understood. Dingle Distillery Vodka is all about purity. We believe that many famous vodkas are about branding over substance and were determined to create a vodka of supreme quality without, at the same time, attaching a wildly inflated price tag to it.

DDV is most unusual in being quintuple distilled. That fifth distillation makes a huge difference. You can taste it in the incredible purity that is as pure as the environment where we make it. There's just a touch of sweetness and creamy texture that takes a lot of people by surprise. It is exceptionally good drunk neat.

Distillery

We use three distinctive, hand-crafted copper pot stills to create what we believe is the ultimate Irish whiskey. Their special design, incorporating a boil ball, encourages reflux and has much to do with the remarkable smoothness and purity of our spirit. We also have a small swan neck pot still for crafting small batches of artisan gin and vodka.

The Dingle Distillery has grown out of The Porterhouse Brewing Company which opened Ireland’s first brewpub in Dublin in 1993 and which spearheaded the now thriving craft brewing movement in Ireland.

The company's independent spirit was underlined by the challenge which faced that first brewpub in a market completely controlled by big brands. We were told that our task was impossible, but there are now six (Porterhouse) pubs, specialising in real beers, in Dublin, Cork, London and New York.

Again, we appear to be at the forefront of a minor revolution in that the Dingle Whiskey Distillery is the first of what appears to be - and we certainly hope will be - artisan distilleries throughout the island of Ireland.

The distillery itself was created in 2012 in the old sawmills on the Milltown Road just on the fringe of Dingle.



Mary Ferriter

mary@dingledistillery.ie
The Dingle Whiskey Distillery, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Contact

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