Welcome to 2019. We started this adventure back in 2014, it’s taken longer than we initially thought to get here, but here we are; in our new distillery and producing Irish Whisky.

With the build out of the way there’ll be more time for coffee and blogging, so expect more blogs, more opinions and more news.

John lives on a diet of pencils

Say hi to our new Head Distillery John Wilcox aka ‘Distillasaurus Rex’. He’s joining us all the way from the US of A, where he headed up some serious enterprises like Rogue, Denali and Dark Corner. John’s been gently bedding in our new brew and still houses with some rather delicious single malt. The first new make was put into the cask on Christmas Eve. Here are his tasting notes on that new make.

Aroma: Toasted almond breakfast cereal with notes of butterscotch and distant smoke on a cold winter’s evening.

Flavour: Bright pie cherry, walnut husk, heather, a note of mint. Peated underbelly with rich, fruity grain backbone.

We going to work the Single Malt a little longer, tweaking the strike temperatures, tightening the cut, and playing with the cooling tower. When we are happy we will park the malt and move on. I expect about 6 months of R&D, so by mid-summer we should have a house-style boxed off.

Some Quarter Casks on Christmas Eve

So here’s the Blackwater Distillery whisky lowdown:

We have a half tonne lauter tun and at the moment just two fermenters, in time there will be more. Our whisky is double not triple distilled, as Donald Fagan once said “love’s not a game for three”.

Our stills are by Frilli of Sienna and are rather special. Designed to be ultra-flexible, we’ve got coolant in the neck for some extra reflux fun, and a choice of shell & tube and/or worm condensers which is unique.

We will produce Single Malt, Single Pot Still Irish and Irish Whisky.

Cooling tower
One of our cooling towers designed by Heath-Robinson

Everything we do is recorded via Block Chain and all this information will be accessible on every bottle we produce. Over time this information will cover every aspect of production, from the sowing of the seed to the date bottled. The customer can then access all this information (as much or as little as they want) via their smartphone.

We will not mature whisky on site but are warehousing in Wexford and Waterford.

Although our new distillery in Ballyduff is open for business, it won’t be open to the public until April (don’t ask), but we are planning some fun events to tie in with the West Waterford Festival of Food, so keep that weekend free.

And finally, we have a whole load of interesting things lined up for 2019 (thus the title of this blog post), but for now sufficient to say that John is retro-fitting a distillery knob that goes all the way up to 11.