This expression represents a new departure for the distillery as the brand sought to create a high-quality whiskey, accessible in terms of price but still retaining its quality and finish.
Matured and finished at Clonakilty’s Atlantic Ocean Warehouse, Galley Head Single Malt represents the marriage of re-shaved, re-toasted wine casks and Bordeaux red wine casks.
Clonakilty Distillery has said it’s hopeful that this release of 40% ABV Galley Head expression will provide a foundation on which it can continue and develop and grow its brand in addition to attracting a range of new customers seeking to broaden their whiskey horizons.
“We decided on Single Malt to produce a full-flavoured, barley-forward whiskey,” said Paul Corbett, Head Distiller at Clonakilty, “We finished this Single Malt in two cask types: a re-shaved, re-toasted wine cask and a freshly disgorged Bordeaux red wine cask.
“The rejuvenated wood imparts a caramel sweetness and complex spice to the whiskey while the fresh wine casks add a fruitiness that complements the cereal character of the malt,” he added.
The whiskey derives its inspiration from the Galley Head Lighthouse, which stands guard over the barley fields at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The Lighthouse, built in 1875, rises an imposing 53 metres above the roaring Wild Atlantic Ocean just outside Clonakilty town.
The lighthouse is situated across the bay and can be seen from the warehouse where Galley Head whiskey is matured, finished and bottled.
This production and launch is also in anticipation of a return to strong whiskey sales on the international market once again.
A recent report from the Irish Whiskey Association revealed that, in the past, 96% of Irish whiskey sales have been exported and – pre-pandemic – these were worth an estimated €890 million across the Island of Ireland.
The IWA report also stated that 2020’s Irish whiskey sales still exceeded expectations but suffered a decline largely due to a global collapse of Irish whiskey sales in travel retail as a result of Covid-19.
With international travel markets slowly reopening, it’s expected that both sales and demand will return to pre-2020 levels.
Clonakilty currently exports to the UK, Germany, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Japan and Russia as well as 15 US states and two Canadian provinces.
To keep up to date with all things Clonakilty Distillery, check-out Clonakilty Distillery on Twitter @clondistillery, on Facebook @clonakiltydistillery and on Instagram @clonakiltydistillery.