Its seems to be the week for Irish Whiskey this week. With the Dublin Liberties Distillery launching last night, a new Clonakilty release of an 8 year old grain finished in Bordeaux Casks yesterday and now, Natterjack Irish Whiskey! Natterjack is something that peaked my interest since I seen its marketing campaign a while back. Seriously….if a big Toad on a bottle doesn’t catch your attention then nothing will! I’ve asked many questions since getting the press release but some information is bound by legal agreements so we may not find out where the components came from, but one can guess. We’ll cover more about all that in a review. One thing I will say, Natterjack have been immediately upfront that they do not have a distillery. One is in the business plan however, and they hope to generate employment for up to 15 people. Decent sized distillery in the making if that’s the case.
The whiskey itself is sourced with a mash bill of 20% barley (Triple distilled) and 80% grain. It’s aged in ex-bourbon barrels before being finished in Virgin American Oak (Char No.4). Its then bottled at 40% ABV. Its presently available from Celtic Whiskey Shop and L.Mulligans Whiskey Shop. I wonder has the virgin American oak imparted much flavours? You’ll have to wait for the review I guess!! Once again, until then, have a read of the press release below!
Irish Entrepreneur Aidan Mehigan will this week officially launch an all new take on Irish Whiskey in a move set to shake up the Irish Whiskey sector. With distribution agreements already in place in the domestic market, alongside the United States, China, United Kingdom, and Europe, it seems that Natterjack, the new Whiskey brand created by Gortinore Distillers & Co. is set to create a stir across the globe, being the first whiskey of its kind available on the market.
Natterjack Irish Whiskey is a unique blend, triple distilled in true Irish spirit and carefully crafted using Irish and American techniques. The whiskey starts aging in ex-bourbon barrels (traditional Irish) and is finished in virgin American oak (traditional American), before bottling it to capture a unique Irish whiskey, wonderful to enjoy neat and versatile enough to make an amazing cocktail.
As an independent Irish whiskey company, Gortinore Distillers & Co. uses the finest raw materials, skills, and traditions that Ireland has to offer. With backing from five private investors, Aidan and his Co-Founders – including two of Aidan’s closest friends, and his dad Denis – have purchased The Old Mill, Kilmacthomas in Co. Waterford with plans underway for a full repair and restoration of the original 1920’s home to Flahavan’s Irish porridge oats. Once complete, the distillery will house three traditional copper pot stills and ageing whiskey casks, employing up to 15 people, and becoming Ireland’s only working distillery to be retrofit into a 150-year-old building. The team have further aspirations to create a visitor centre that will “capture imaginations and let whiskey enthusiasts and novices alike experience first-hand the methods through which real Irish whiskey has been created for generations.”
Having studied International Politics, and leaving a secure job to build ‘something from nothing’, Mehigan moved back to Ireland with the dream of setting up Gortinore Distillers & Co. It’s an unusual career trajectory but one that came to underpin the ‘doing things differently’ ethos of Gortinore Distillers & Co., and something that every member of the six strong Gortinore team have in common.
In the early days of his whiskey quest, Aidan crossed paths with Jordan Via, the award-winning Master Distiller at Breckenridge Colorado (the highest distillery in the world) and the brains behind Bob Dylan’s whiskey. Aidan wanted to explore a new flavour profile for Irish whiskey, pairing Irish traditions with American techniques, and thus breathe new life into the sector.
Aidan Mehigan, Founder and CEO Gortinore Distillers & Co. said ““Natterjack is an elegant answer for the next generation of whiskey drinkers. We’ve set out to marry the knowledge from both sides of the Atlantic, to create a unique fusion of Irish and American whiskey traditions…and bottle it. We’re a whiskey company doing things differently, going against the industry trends and creating the best whiskey that we possibly can. We’ve explored new flavour profiles, taken the traditional methods of triple distillation, ageing and second used casts and amplified those with some of the methods used in Bourbon. Our virgin American oak barrels are just that – virgin, brand new and unadulterated with any other flavour. Selected onsite in Kentucky, Jordan and I picked exactly what we needed to create exactly the whiskey that we wanted”.
Natterjack Irish Whiskey will be available in all good bars and off-licenses and comes in 700ml bottles with an off-trade RRSP of €48.
Gortinore Distillers & Co is backed by Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start Up (HPSU).
Official Tasting notes:
Nose – Golden vibrant liquid with an upfront bouquet of vanilla, apple and cinnamon.
Taste – A smooth, almost creamy palate of orange, orange zest, spice, cedar and notes of tobacco.
Finish – A clean fresh finish, reminiscent of a long Irish summer evening.
What is a Natterjack?
The Natterjack is the only toad native to Ireland. While all around it are hopping, it walks. It chooses its own course. Thanks to an adventurous spirit and ability to roam, it shows up in the most unlikely of places, not unlike the Irish. Like the Natterjack, our story is also one of endless adventure, doing things differently and living deliberately. It’s time for Irish Whiskey to choose a different path.