The Spirit of Reason & Strength

Whiskey made the O’Connell way


Throughout history, Kerry people – and the O’Connell family in particular - have been known for doing things their own way. From our early trading history to the successful smuggling enterprise of Maurice ‘Hunting Cap’ O'Connell to the powerful civil rights agitation of Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Liberator’.

Perched at the end of Europe we have had to be outward facing - our ancestors left to become hugely decorated soldiers and to set up trading businesses around the world. Independence of spirit, grit and resourcefulness are in our DNA. This has sometimes rubbed authority up the wrong way - British PM Robert Peel bemoaned the trouble caused by "that wayward Irishman", Daniel O’Connell. We have decided to own that insult with pride.

Our family (O'Connells and, on my maternal side, the MacCarthys) has been on this land for over 900 years and with the creation of Wayward Irish Spirits we celebrate the generations that have come before us and seek to create an enduring legacy for the future. Whiskey making is more than a business for us – we mark our time in generations rather than months or years. Our family motto ‘Ciall agus Neart, Reason and Strength’, informs our thoughtful, individual and determined approach.

As our lakeside estate’s unique microclimate influences our Whiskey so too does our family attitude and history dictate the way we do things.

Convention would have us focus on cost effectiveness: modern facilities, production and sourcing efficiencies. We choose to do things our way as the O’Connell family have always done. We have re-purposed our less than efficient 300 year old stone farm buildings, we grow and harvest our barley at un-commercial cost from our own fields and we personally source the best finishing barrels that connect with our family history.

Our way is certainly not the cheapest or the quickest but delivers you a unique, characterful and individual Whiskey.