Yesterday, 21st of December, over 200 people gathered in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, to witness and taste a historic event: the opening of the first cask of Irish whiskey made in Connacht in 104 years.
The cask, containing €100,000 worth of Irish whiskey, was the first-ever distilled by The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney, maker of the multi award winning Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin.
Three years after the spirits distillation, it was finally ready to see the world as Irish whiskey on the day of the Winter Solstice 2017. Guests gathered along PJ and Denise Rigney, founders of the distillery, to try it for the first time and to listen to the story behind this triple-distilled uisce beatha before the whiskey was puck back into hibernation.
PJ Rigney said they are thrilled with how this first cask of whiskey is maturing but will wait until it is “perfect” before releasing to market. At least 18 more months or maturation now await the cask as the final product will have around 5 years of ageing once it’s ready to hit the bars and shelves.
The majority of the first-ever casks distilled at The Shed Distillery in 2014 were snapped up by investors and collectors including Prince Albert of Monaco and Count Carl Graf Von Hardenberg of the German drinks dynasty.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD attended the event and praised The Shed Distillery commenting that it had already put Drumshanbo on the global map thanks to the success of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin.
The Shed Distillery currently employs 18 full time staff and the plan is to increase the number to 30 by the end of 2018, as they expect to open a estate of the art visitor experience.
More information: thesheddistillery.com