Kinsale Spirits raises over €80,000 from NFT auction of rare whiskey cask

Funds are to go towards establishing a new distillery near Summercove in Kinsale

Kinsale Spirits has raised just over €80,000 from its recent auction of a digital representation of a rare cask of 20-year single malt from the former Cooley Distillery.

The company last week went to market with the first ever Irish whiskey cask represented by an a non-fungible token (NFT) and successfully auctioned it on the OpenSea crypto marketplace.

Kinsale Spirits, whose brands include Red Earl Whiskey, was aiming to raise a minimum €60,000 from the auction of the cask, with funds to go towards establishing a new distillery near Summercove. In the end it raised €83,000.

NFTs, which are the latest investment craze to grip the market, are unique or limited-edition assets that exist only in the digital world. When someone buys such a digital asset, their ownership is recorded on the blockchain allowing anyone to verify the ownership and authenticity of items. While anyone can still view the NFTs, the buyer has the status of being the official owner - a kind of digital bragging rights.


Usually, those who acquire NFTs do not get a physical version of the item although in this case, the auction winner is getting the actual cask, which should increase in value over time.

"We are delighted to be bring some technological innovation to the whiskey world, a space synonymous with tradition," said Kinsale co-founder Ernest Cantillon.

“To be the first to do this was our primary goal - it’s hard to stand out as a relative new comer - but to exceed our sale target is a real bonus. Our plans for our own distillery in Kinsale are progressing quickly and this windfall will certainly help,” he added.

Kinsale Spirits is currently in the middle of confirming planning permission for its new distillery that will produce about 30,000 bottles a year once operational.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist