By MARTHA BRENNAN
KINSALE will soon be home to a new distillery, according to gin and whiskey company Kinsale Spirits. At the launch of their new whiskey, the firm announced it would open the distillery in the town by 2021.
The company is in the middle of getting planning permission for a site near Summercove, and the distillery will be the second to be built in Kinsale, already home to Black’s brewery and distillery.
Kinsale Spirits are best known for their Kinsale Gin, which is made with botanicals from the area.
Co-founder Ernest Cantillon told The Southern Star that they are so confident of getting planning permission that they have already purchased equipment.
‘We’ve been chasing a site in Kinsale for years,’ Ernest said. ‘We’ve found a field which has a building on it, so once the permission has gone through, it will hopefully be a quick turnaround.’
The distillery will add a number of jobs to the town, and the company is hoping to soon launch in Rhode Island in the US, which is twinned with Kinsale.
Kinsale Spirits will add to a growing list of distilleries located in West Cork, but Ernest believes theirs will blend in well with the existing competition. Currently Kinsale Gin is produced by West Cork Distillers in Skibbereen, and Ernest said that the companies have a great relationship.
‘There are so many markets out there, especially for Irish whiskey, there is room for all of us.’
‘We have a number of investors, mostly from Cork, and the Kinsale name has great connotations internationally,’ he added. ‘We have our own personal connections and have built a lot of relationships which will help the business grow.’
The company also sought inspiration from the town for their new venture into the whiskey making business, with a new ‘Battle of Kinsale’ series of whiskies being launched this week, starting with ‘Red Earl’, which will be available in Supervalu and certain off-licences soon.
Speaking about the whiskies, publican Ernest Cantillon said ‘We were nervous about launching a new product during such an uncertain period, but to be honest it has hit the ground running.
Local support has been phenomenal, and we have our first export order, to China.’