OUR

LAKEVIEW ESTATE WHISKEY

 

We are working towards becoming Ireland's most beautifully situated Premium Single Estate Grain to Glass Distillery with a Visitor Centre.

 

The journey has already begun with the first of our Lakeview Estate range of Whiskeys, made from our 2018 crop of Barley grown in the Estate's Hilly Field, shown on the right, with Carrauntoohill mountain as its beautiful backdrop. This barley was small batch malted and then, in March 2019, Triple Distilled for us by our distilling partner into Pot Still spirit that is returning to the Estate for maturation.

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THE LIBERATOR
RANGE OF IRISH WHISKEYS

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Alongside the Lakeview Estate Range we will have a collection of mature Whiskeys finished on the Estate in our Liberator Irish Whiskey Series. Finishing is the art and science of adding to the flavour, depth and complexity of a Whiskey by transferring it to a different type of cask for part of its maturation.

While waiting for our Lakevew Estate Pot Still Whiskey to mature, we wanted to explore the effects of applying a finishing program to other Whiskeys in our unique mountain and lakeside microclimate. We had a wonderful time sourcing and tasting in-cask Whiskeys from some of Ireland’s best distilleries before making our choice of a delicious and complex Triple Distilled Malt Whiskey that had been matured in first fill ex-Bourbon barrels.

This became our Inaugural Release of 685 bottles of

The Liberator Irish Malt Whiskey finished in Tawny Port Casks

We chose to try a Tawny port finish – rare in Ireland because of the cost of the barrels and, due to their 20+ year age, their fragility. We wanted to reference the O’Connells' importing of barrels of wine and brandy from Portugal and Francesca's family connections up in the Minho region. With help from local Portuguese friends, we were excited to find 10 quality really fresh barrels which we inspected before they were repaired and tested by a cooperage south of Porto and then shipped over to Ireland. Within 3 weeks, our Whiskey was transferred into the Port barrels in early October 2018 and we started to wait and watch and taste.

There was an initial pink tinge that, over the months, has become a deeper golden red as the Whiskey has taken on the colour of the Tawny port soaked into the wood. After a few months of concern that little was happening to develop the taste of the whiskey, the magic started to happen and the spirit began to soften and take on a fruity nose and finish, while retaining the balance of the barley and toasted wood of the original Whiskey.

We tested the barrels each week to ensure the balance doesn’t get out of hand and experimenting with the strength that will bring out the best in our Whiskey. At the moment, that’s looking to be about 46% ABV (92 Proof).

We apply a process called the 'Gentle Cut' when proofing our Whiskey. When we reduce from cask strength (around 61% ABV) to our 46% bottling strength, we add spring water slowly over a period of around 5 weeks, reducing the %ABV by around 2% in each step. The Whiskey is left to marry for a few days before further water is added. The industry standard is to add the water in one go, which can stress the Whiskey can bring out fats or oils from suspension in the distillate, which can give the Whiskey a soapy taste. The 'Gentle Cut' takes a bit more time but we feel it's worthwhile.

Another difference is that we don't chill filter, colour or otherwise mess with our Whiskey.

As we're finishing, blending and bottling on site, we're not dependent on a limited time slot in a factory to prepare our Whiskey - we can take the time to do things properly.