Clonakilty Distillery have joined forces with a number of US breweries to create a range of bespoke limited-edition cask finished whiskeys for the American market.
We have chosen our partners carefully, selecting the casks of their premium beers to finish our whiskey, and the results are taste bud popping.
This series hits America’s shores from the end of September, but there is also good news for Irish fans. A small number of bottles have been held back in reserve for sale at our distillery shop in Clonakilty, and online store.
Manor Hill “Baltic Porter” Cask Finish is the first to be released in the series. This collaboration brings together two-family farms separated by 3,000 miles.
We interviewed Paul Corbett, Head Distiller at Clonakilty Distillery to learn more about this quirky collaboration.
Q. Tell us a bit about Manor Hill Brewery?
A. Manor Hill are a family brewery based in Ellicott City, Maryland who are working the land to make a range of farmhouse beers. It’s a nice collaboration for us at Clonakilty distillery as we are also a family business with farming roots.
Q. How does a collab like this work?
A. Basically the brewer seasons barrels with their beer, which we then use to finish our whiskey which absorbs the flavours from the beer and wood.
Q. What beer was used in this particular collaboration?
A. Manor Hill’s “Baltic Porter”, which is essentially a strong porter, with an alcohol content of around 8% or higher. They use lots of specialty roasted malts, like munich, crystal and chocolate malt, which should give rich chocolaty notes and a lot of dark fruits. These of course compliment whiskey really well…..I know stout and whiskey is my particular favourite tipple.
Q. How long was the whiskey in the cask for?
A. These casks were filled for just over 6 months. Once I felt the whiskey was ready we bottled it at 48.5%. I find with stout & porter cask finishes you don’t want to take the ABV down too low because you can start to lose those roasted rich chocolate flavours.
Q. What should people expect from this whiskey?
A. Well straight away I get chocolate coming through on the nose which is exactly what I was hoping for. I also think there’s a very slight hop, because the “Baltic Porter” has such a high ABV, giving a slight fruitiness.
The taste has tones of dark chocolate and dark stone fruit……it really coats the mouth. There’s quite a long flavour, oak spice and leather from the malt start to come through in the finish with lingering chocolate notes.
About the Whiskey
On Sale: In store & available online Friday September 25th.
Limited Release: 1,220 bottles in total, only 320 bottles kept for Ireland.
Best Enjoyed: On a Winter’s evening in front of the fire.
Nose: Cocoa, peach cobbler and rich bitter spices.
Palate: Dark chocolate, stone fruit and liquorice with a silky mouth coating.
Finish: Leather and oak spices linger with bitter chocolate for a long finish.
This article first appeared on Medium on 17/09/2020