Three new whiskeys from distillery that gave us The Liberator
And yes, Wayward Irish Spirits’s Maurice O’Connell is a descendant of Daniel O’Connell
Maurice O’Connell, the great-great-great grand-nephew of Daniel O’Connell. ‘We are now in a few hotel bars and people can get to try our whiskey and that has made a real difference.’ Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan
Based on the shores of Lake Leane in Killarney, Wayward Irish Spirits has one of the most idyllic settings for a distillery. I featured Maurice O’Connell (he is a descendant of Daniel O’Connell) and his wife Francesca earlier this year when they released their first whiskey, The Liberator. They now have three new whiskies available.
Batch 2 of the Malt in Tawny Port Finish is made from a 2006 Cooley single malt and a 2015 single malt from Great Northern Distillery. It was, like its predecessor, finished in Tawny Port casks. Some 1,000 numbered bottles have been released, with an ABV of 46 per cent, selling for €65. The Liberator Batch 2 is a lovely smooth whiskey with dark fruits and chocolate. “This release is a little bit different,” O’Connell says. “The whiskey has had four to five months’ more ageing, and we blended it differently; it is a little less Port-forward this time.”
The second release is the Double Port Finish, (45 per cent ABV) a blend that has been aged in a variety of Tawny and Ruby Port casks. This is more exuberantly fruity, full of juicy, ripe blackcurrants and red cherries. A total of 140 numbered half-bottles of the same whiskey at a cask strength of 62. 1 per cent ABV are also available (but disappearing quickly) for €55 per half bottle.
Is O’Connell happy with the way things have gone over the first few months? “We are now in a few hotel bars and people can get to try our whiskey and that has made a real difference. We have a partnership with a few Kerry hotels which can offer miniatures for people to try before they pay €65 for a bottle.”