THE COPPER STILLS and casks are in place in Co Kerry, ready to begin making whiskey next week at the new Dingle Distillery.
The project, based at the old Fitzgerald saw mill in Dingle, was in development for the last three years, and will officially open 29 November. It will also produce other spirits such as gin and vodka.
A bottle of malt-whiskey from the distillery will set you back around €23 and they hope to sell the spirits on international markets such as the US, Canada, Scandinavia, France, Spain, Russia, Japan and China.
A spokesperson for the company explained why they chose Dingle as their location:
There is a huge element of romance about a distillery in the beauty of Dingle.
Also, whiskey matures better over six degrees celsius, so being on the Gulf Stream and the most westerly town in Europe helps that.
Oliver Hughes, one of the directors of the Dingle Distillery who is also over the Porterhouse Brewing Company says:
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 distill anyway.
The distillery will create 25 jobs locally with all production carried out in Dingle. They also plan on opening a visitor’s centre in around 18 months, which will create a further 15 to 20 jobs.
In the 18th century there were 1,200 distilleries in Ireland and Irish whiskey became a premium spirit in Britain and the US but when the US banned alcohol, the Irish whiskey market was hit hard. But times have now changed and Irish whiskey accounts for over 20 per cent of the world market.