Chapel Gate launches ‘first’ Tequila cask-finished Irish whiskey

May 1, 2019by Owen Bellwood

Ireland's Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Co has launched JJ Corry The Battalion, the “world’s first” Irish whiskey finished in Tequila and mezcal casks.

To make JJ Corry the Battalion, the Irish whiskey bonder decanted grain whiskey that had aged in ex-Bourbon casks into mezcal and Tequila casks, and malt whiskey from Bourbon barrels into mezcal casks. After maturing for seven months, a blend of grain whiskey matured in Tequila and mezcal casks was combined with the mezcal-influenced malt whiskey. The finished whiskey is made with 60% nine-year-old grain whiskey and 40% 13-year-old malt whiskey. The Battalion is said to have green herbal notes and the “slightest touch of agave” flavours. Louise McGuane, founder of Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Co, said: “As modern whiskey bonders we do exactly as JJ Corry would have done, use the casks at his disposal to impart unique flavours in his blends. JJ had access to rum, Bordeaux and Sherry casks; we are lucky enough to be able to look as far afield as Mexico and beyond for flavours that work with Irish whiskey. “At JJ Corry, we take inspiration from the work of artisanal spirit producers around the world. The best mezcal and Tequilas are, at their heart, produced in rural locations by families with whom we share a significant affinity with, given our approach to whiskey making on our family farm on the west coast of Ireland.” The Battalion is named in honour of the Battalion San Patricos, Saint Patrick’s Battalion, which was a group of Irish men who fought for Mexico in the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. Bottled at 41% abv, just 700 bottles of the new whiskey will be available for an RRP of €65 (US$73) per 500ml bottle. In2018, the Irish whiskey bonder appointed Axiom Brands as UK distributor for its The Gael and The Flintlock 16 Year Old whiskeys. Reports circulated last year that Diageo had assembled a group to explore potential changes to the rules governing Scotch whisky – including the ability to age and finish Scotch in Tequila barrels.