West Cork Distillers: From Humble Beginnings to Award-Winning Innovators

At West Cork Distillers, there is a rich history dating back to 2003, when childhood friends John O’Connell, Denis McCarthy, and Ger McCarthy founded the distillery. It began operating in a room at the back of Denis’s house in Unionhall, Co Cork. From two small stills – bought from a schnapps producer in Switzerland – to their own distillery in Skibbereen, the business has continued to flourish since its inception. Their passion for authentic Irish whiskey production drives them to blend traditional methods with innovative techniques, creating products to be incredibly proud of.

Product Range

On offer is a diverse portfolio of premium spirits, including single malts, blended whiskeys, and pot still expressions, with the flagship brand being West Cork Irish Whiskey. Each of the products is exclusively crafted using local ingredients, such as Irish-grown grains, ensuring exceptional quality and a distinctive character that sets the distillery apart.

Innovative Distillation Process

The team at West Cork Distillers are disruptors and value passion and innovation. So much so, they have designed and crafted their own handmade pot stills, including ‘the Rocket’, which uses a rapid distillation process to enhance flavour for a cleaner, smoother tasting whiskey. Science is fundamental to great tasting flavour, and at West Cork Distillers applies chemistry techniques that aren’t usually found in whiskey production, such as gas chromatography and reverse osmosis.

Market Presence and Awards

Over the years, the distillery has achieved significant growth, with its products now available in over 70 countries worldwide. They’ve garnered numerous awards, including accolades from the International Wine & Spirit Competition and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Most recently, their five-year-old pot still and seven-year-old single malt were awarded gold medals at the Berlin Spirits Awards 2024. These honours reflect the dedication of the whole team to excellence and innovation in whiskey making.

Find out more at: www.westcorkirishwhiskey.com