By Connor Lynch
WEST Cork Distillers have teamed up with The Pogues to launch a new Irish whiskey which carries the same name as the band.
The Pogues Irish Whiskey is the highest malt-containing blended Irish whiskey and is the brainchild of the Skibbereen-based company.
Barry Walsh and Frank McHardy, two of the world’s most renowned distillers, collaborated on this new blend, which is a mixture of grain and 50% single malt Irish whiskey.
The whiskey has been described as ‘malty and floral’ with a ‘slight sweetness and smooth intensity’. It is being targeted at a mainly younger audience of 25-35 year olds.
‘We wanted to create an Irish whiskey with a global appeal, which isn’t without its challenges,’ said John O’Connell, co-founder of West Cork Distillers.
He added that The Pogues offer the ‘perfect partnership’ as they share many of the same values as the firm – such as an independent spirit, a slightly ‘unorthodox’ approach and a commitment to quality, – and success on the international stage.
The Pogues, famous for songs like Dirty Old Town and A Fairytale of New York, were high in their praise of the West Cork company. They said the whiskey reflected them and they all liked the taste of it! ‘It’s mind-blowing to think that we will have our band represented through such a great Irish whiskey and we hope it stands the test of time,’ a statement added.
West Cork Distillers are one of three independent whiskey distilleries in Ireland, and are working with partners in Europe, Australia and Canada to establish The Pogues Irish Whiskey as a global brand.
Meanwhile, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney has strengthened the legal protection for Irish whiskey, Irish poitín and Irish cream.
Whiskey, poitín and cream are protected ‘geographical indications’ according to EU law. This means that they must be produced in the country and under strict technical specifications.
The new regulations ensure that inferior products, or products produced elsewhere cannot be sold as Irish whiskey, Irish poitín or Irish cream.