VSLonakilty is located on the southwest coast of Ireland. Garrison Brothers resides in the Texas Hill Country. Check a map and you’ll find that the two distilleries are located about 4,500 miles apart, separated by the eastern half of the United States and a huge ocean. And yet, despite this geographical obstacle, they have teamed up to create a new Irish single malt whiskey matured in Garrison Brothers Balmorhea bourbon casks.
The seven-year-old whiskey was first aged in ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to Texas whiskey casks for a further seven months. Balmorhea Garrison is a powerful, high-strength bourbon that is aged for four years in new American white oak barrels, then transferred to a second new American white oak barrel and aged for an additional year.
“Balmorhea casks bring a distinct finish to the whiskey compared to what is normally found with American oak,” says Oisin Mulcahy, Chief Distiller at Clonakilty Distillery. “This is due to the extremely different climates that exist in Texas and Clonakilty.”
That’s a good point. Central Texas is hot to very hot, while the Irish coast is cold and humid for much of the year. Balmorhea casks interact intensely with the Texas whiskey within, which seeps in and out of the porous wood as it ages. These used casks retain plenty of punch for their new role as containers for this Clonakilty whisky.
Clonakilty 7 Year Old Irish Single Malt features aromas of sea salt, vanilla and freshly cut wood, followed by bananas, nuts, plums, spice and cherry. All this leads to a long conclusion about wood, spices and vanilla.
This unique bottling is now available at select Texas retailers. It is bottled at 58.8% alcohol and has a suggested retail price of $69.99.