Since they begun selling their whiskey, JJ Corry has seen an explosion in interest not just in Ireland, but internationally. While the majority of this is down to their exceptionally high quality releases, it also is in part to their Founder, boss woman, blender and head bottle washer, Louise McGuane. A woman with nearly 20 years in the drinks industry, she has worked for Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Moet Hennessey……three of the biggest drinks producers in the world. Living and working in places like New York, Paris, London and Singapore, its no surprise she has contacts and in roads to these markets. The brand went global fast. And that only happens with hard work, perseverance and as we call it in Ireland, Neck! Louise has it all and I meant that in only the best of terms. She has a massive passion for Irish whiskey and her role as a genuine, bona fida Bonder of Irish whiskey. Pushing the whiskey in several markets, her instagram story is awash with travel. Daily. Worldwide. Constant go. I can never keep up to where she is. Its a testament the companies success.
I first met Louise at Whiskey Live two years ago where she had “The Gael” on her stand and I was immensely impressed with the level of transparency on the label, so much so I took a photo of it at the time. Alas this transparency was shot down by the Irish Whiskey Association who chose not to lobby for greater transparency, but to require JJ Corry to change their label going forward to remove the details of the content of the blend. A discussion for another day, perhaps. This summer I called to Louise and along with the two people with me, we received a red carpet welcome. The bespoke blending room and rack house is simple and beautiful. What more do you need than good whiskey, great views and the fresh air from the Atlantic blowing up the river Shannon. And we all know her cottage on the farm got the RTE “Home of the Year” award in 2017, right??
So when I heard a few weeks ago that a very special whiskey was on the way from JJ Corry I wasn’t surprised. While I may have had to do a double take on the price when I heard it, that too didn’t surprise me. Louise has long contended that we are missing a trick by not taking on Scotch in the uber super duper top tier premium whiskey category. Macallan generally has the world wide name for that category….why cant Irish whiskey beat on that drum too?? Tonight, with the newest release of JJ Corry, The Chosen, Irish whiskey has begun to beat that drum. This whiskey is not destined for you or me (unless some serious wealthy people read my ramblings). I would predict it is destined to become a status symbol in an Asian collection and like with most of those collections, it will eventually be opened and drank! As you will read below, this is styled as a Luxury Whiskey and Design Collaboration Between J.J. Corry Irish Whiskey, J. Hill’s Standard Crystal and John Galvin Design. It looks amazing. I shall be tasting it shortly and hope to have notes up asap.
So, to wrap up. While this release may get some backlash on the price point, bare in mind that the The Chosen is a statement. A statement of “here we are”. Here is Irish whiskey. We are coming for you, Scotch. We have the liquid. We have the skill. We have the people to drive it. And drive it, we will.
EDIT – I just tasted it…..PEATED MALT. Glorious……
Cooraclare, Co. Clare Ireland: Ireland’s first modern Whiskey Bonder, J.J. Corry, has launched The Chosen, a 27-Year-Old Single Cask, Single Malt Irish Whiskey, in collaboration with contemporary Irish design houses, J. Hill’s Standard and John Galvin Design.
The 27-Year-Old Single Cask, Single Malt Irish Whiskey is presented in 100 individually hand cut J. Hill’s Standard crystal decanters and hand carved ash wood cabinets fashioned by John Galvin Design. The Chosen will retail for £6,500 and is available internationally from Bordeaux Index, Fine & Rare and in Ireland at The Celtic Whiskey Shop.
The design of the decanter and cabinet echoes the dune grass of the local beaches of the Wild Atlantic Way, home to J.J. Corry Irish Whiskey. Every crystal decanter is hand cut in Waterford by J. Hill’s Standard, contemporary crystal design house founded by Anike Tyrell, while the ash wood cabinet is the creation of master craftsman John Galvin, a native of Cork. Both Irish design houses share a respect for traditional Irish crafts while interpreting them in a contemporary fashion, similar to the ethos of J.J. Corry Irish Whiskey.
Founder of J.J. Corry Irish Whiskey Louise McGuane commented: “The Chosen is a celebration of excellence in Irish Whiskey and contemporary Irish design. Irish Whiskey has not been celebrated for its quality and rarity, as perhaps other categories have. We have some of the finest mature stock of whiskey in the world and yet I feel the industry undersells itself. I wanted to change that. Our approach to making Irish Whiskey celebrates tradition, embraces change and has the modern whiskey drinker front of mind. All of this is reflected in The Chosen”.
“We are curators of casks and creators of individual whiskey flavours. We constantly source and taste, knowing the personality of each cask that we own. Every cask in our custom built rackhouse has a different story and destiny. Occasionally we come across such an exceptional cask that it merits its own unique release and this was the case with The Chosen. We waited until the cask reached its absolute peak of maturation before we released it”, she added.
“The rugged landscape of Co. Clare where J.J. Corry matures and blends whiskey also boasts many important grasslands and is an internationally recognised habitat for wildlife. The bespoke grass-cut on the decanters and cabinets reflects the close bond between this special whiskey house and the environment in which it is perfected. It has been a great pleasure to be part of its realisation.’
Tasting Notes (official)
Rich and superbly elegant with notes of toffee, rancio, dried mango and chestnut. This palate of intensely ripe fruits is complimented by incense and a luscious oily texture. The finish is long with just a touch of smoke. The Single Malt Irish Whiskey is bottled at cask strength at 52%.