Our whiskeys are different. We don’t just make whiskey, we craft it. Following in the footsteps of our forefathers, we respect the skilled craftsmanship that made Irish whiskey the champagne of the industry. But we elevate that craft through scientific studies and expertise, sparing no expense in the pursuit of excellence.
Using whiskey made only on a pot still and carefully hand-selected barrels, we craft whiskey as it was once made; before the rise of blends and mass-produced whiskeys saw the art of whiskey-making pushed aside. We’re reviving that art, crafting whiskey unlike any other and driven by an obsession with perfection.
FREEDOM TO EXPERIMENT
While we respect tradition, we’re not bound by the shackles of an establishment. We’re free to question the accepted methods and to discover better ways. We’re led by the craftsmanship of the old whiskey masters, but we’ve used the scientific knowledge of today to adapt and perfect the whiskey-making art.
There are no shareholders motivated by dividends, just the passion to create whiskeys of unrivalled flavour profiles. Using smaller barrels adds greater depth of flavour. Underfilling those barrels allows maturation to start at once. Tasting the whiskey monthly and daily in its finishing period allows us to catch it at the peak of perfection. Moving it through different barrels imparts an unrivalled complexity. This art comes at a cost.
These are more expensive techniques, requiring us to check barrels on a monthly basis with our team of experts, more barrels, storage and greater loss to the “angels’ share”. In a world of mass production and cost-cutting, our bespoke craft makes us an outlier. But when the goal is perfection, no time, effort or expense is too great.
While the majority of whiskeys are put in a 200 litre barrel and left alone in a warehouse for the duration of the maturation period, we do things differently. Just like the old whiskey masters of 150 years ago, we craft, watch, taste, adjust.
But where the whiskey masters of the past left off, we begin. Standing on their shoulders, we add today’s scientific research to support the traditional craft. Understanding how wood flavours whiskey from a molecular level is paramount in crafting a perfect whiskey. From the type of stave to how long the barrel was yard seasoned for and the spirit it once held. From the area of Ireland and even the specific location in the warehouse to the unique and proprietary processes we have designed, we bring science and artistry into our craft.
Our individual approach takes into account every tool in the whiskey maker’s box; the distillate, the humidity levels, the climate, the barrels, the timing. Regular tasting and a skilled appreciation for flavour allow us to create a unique journey for the liquid. We rotate the usage of barrels and where they are situated geographically to impart more flavour, monitor the humidity, change the location accordingly, and disgorge into different styles of barrel when needed to create a truly individual whiskey with its own story.
UNDER-FILLING THE BARRELS
Traditionally barrels are filled to the brim. However, for maturation to begin there must be enough headspace for oxygen to exist within the barrel. By filling the barrel to the top, the master crafter has to wait a few years for this space to be created through evaporation. We saw this could be changed.
By under-filling our barrels the alchemy of wood, spirit and oxidation begins at once, triggering maturation from day one. This allows the whiskey to take on far greater complexity, smoothness, and viscosity over the same period of time as a barrel filled to the brim.
ADDING WATER BEFORE MATURATION AND BEFORE FINISHING
In the mass-produced market, water is added after maturation. But a whiskey from The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. is different. Most other whiskeys emerge from the barrel at a higher ABV and are then diluted to a palatable strength. In so doing, the complex spectrum of flavours and rich viscosity are dulled.
We add water before maturation for our new-make spirit, and before finishing for our more mature whiskeys. This allows it to marry with the spirit over time, drawing out the full range of flavourful phenolic compounds from the wood. As time progresses, both the water and spirit take on the rich notes of the barrel over the years, adding complexity and vibrant, intense flavour profiles. The whiskey emerges from the barrel at cask strength, with a rich viscosity, full flavour and palatable strength, without the need for further dilution. The flavours remain intact, complex, extraordinary.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
Whiskey is a living, breathing entity. When maturing in the barrel, volatile conjoiners and compounds that give the whiskey its flavour fluctuate on a month-to-month basis. In studying the scientific white papers, we see that some flavour compounds can jump by over 130%* over a quarterly period. This shows that throughout the course of the year, the whiskey will peak and trough in flavour.
Waiting for an age statement is counterintuitive to releasing the perfect whiskey, and not an indicator of its quality. We give the date of distillation, bottling date and full journey of the whiskey but do not rely on an age statement to prove its quality. Instead, that quality is proven by independent judges and the multiple awards they’ve bestowed.
Regular tasting by a team of experts allows us to monitor the changes in flavour, while our understanding of the relationship between wood, water, spirit, humidity and oxygen ensures that every whiskey takes its own personalised journey. The destination? Perfection. The whiskey is tasted daily during the finishing period, and bottled the moment it reaches its peak. Waiting for an age statement risks missing that moment of perfection.
The Devil’s Keep was bottled two weeks shy of 30 years. It had reached perfection. Had we waited, the smoky notes of the virgin Hungarian oak would have begun to overpower the other flavours, lessening the unrivalled distinction and complexity that saw it winning awards within months.
AN EXPERIENCE BEYOND THE EVERYDAY
A whiskey from The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. is far more than just a bottle. Whiskeys of such distinction demand an experience to match. Three years of research, design and scientific experimentation have been poured into crafting an experience that would fully enhance the beauty of the whiskey.
Just as a Michelin-starred restaurant elevates the experience of the food through lighting, decor, ambience and more, our whiskeys bring science and design into play to create the perfect whiskey experience. We obsess over every detail in our pursuit of that perfection, going to the ends of the earth to create the ultimate whiskey experience.
BLENDING SCIENCE & ARTISTRY
Our glassware is the result of eighteen months of research to create a whiskey glass that removes the ethanol vapours that hinder the appreciation of the whiskey. With smell responsible for around 80% of taste and the experience of flavour, the strong ethanol vapours found in all whiskeys can diminish your ability to fully taste the spectrum of complex notes. The glasses combine innovation and style to remove the ethanol vapours and allow the rich, rounded flavour and aroma to take centre-stage. From the Vortex Point to the Soda-lime glass, our trailblazing approach has revolutionised the experience.
PURE OBSIDIAN WHISKEY STONES
Endless research and thorough scientific studies determined pure Obsidian to be the finest material to cool without changing the properties of the whiskey. Unlike granite or other porous stones, Obsidian is impenetrable, chilling efficiently without taking on other flavours or scents from the freezer. In addition, this semi-precious gemstone is said to improve digestion, reduce arthritic pain, shield against negative energy and aid mental clarity.
As with every product from The Craft Irish Whiskey Co., we then went further, travelling the world to find the purest form of Obsidian in existence. Sourced from the foothills of a mountain range in Armenia, our Obsidian whiskey stones epitomise our obsessive drive for perfection.
The pipettes continue this meticulous attention to every detail, with precise etchings to show the optimum quantity of water for a 25 and 50ml serving of whiskey. While whiskey is often served with a jug of water on the side, this is too imprecise for a whiskey of such quality. A science-led approach allowed us to accurately determine the perfect amount of water to break open the spherical micelles that trap some of the flavour compounds. This releases more flavour without diluting the whiskey’s strength or lowering the ABV.
A collaboration with Fabergé allowed us to craft the world’s first Fabergé Celtic Egg. Surrounding The Emerald Isle’s whiskey with ultra-rare Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva cigars – one of the most collectable cigars on earth – and a bespoke 1/1 Fabergé watch raised the experience still further. Becoming the first whiskey company to partner with Michelin Guide has seen our whiskeys displayed in the finest restaurants for all to see. These are whiskeys to treasure, to pass down the generations; a legacy for us, an heirloom for you.
AWARD-WINNING AND RECORD-BREAKING
Our obsessive perfectionism has shaken up an industry that had begun to accept mass production and cost-cutting as the norm. By honouring the traditions of the old masters but adding scientific and design-led research, we’ve elevated the craft beyond what has gone before.
Multiple awards from prestigious and well-respected bodies, including the IWSC and the A’Design Awards, are testament to the perfection we demand. World record-breaking releases demonstrate the value afforded to such perfection. From the most expensive whiskey in the world, to becoming the most design awarded company of 2021, our reinvigoration of the whiskey-making art has placed luxury Irish whiskey firmly back in the hearts and minds of aficionados.
The Brollach won influential taste awards within a few months of its release when six independent judges blind-tasted it for The Irish Whiskey Masters, awarding it a Master medal. Not content with taking the highest award in the Irish whiskey category, The Brollach was entered into The Global Luxury Spirits Masters. A separate set of six judges blind tasted and awarded it another Master medal, placing it amongst the finest spirits in the world and making it the highest-scoring Irish whiskey of the year.
The Devil’s Keep achieved a prestigious Gold at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2021 with a panel of independent judges describing it as ‘enchanting’. Scooping the highest awards and becoming the most awarded new company of 2021 is an indication of the superior flavour profiles created by our revolutionary methods.
GLOBAL LUXURY IN YOUR GLASS
The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. has reinvented every detail to produce whiskeys of exquisitely balanced flavour and aroma. We’ve questioned every step and spared no expense or time to craft whiskeys that defy all that has gone before. We’ve scoured the four corners of the earth to create the ultimate whiskey pour, from the glasses to the obsidian whiskey stones, the water to the pipettes.
Rooted in tradition but with an eye on the future, our whiskeys are modern expressions of a historic craft.