Irish distiller unveils its first blended whiskey

by Alice Brooker

County Longford-based Lough Ree Distillery has debuted Bart’s Blended Irish Whiskey, named in honour of its founder’s father.

The blended whiskey is a first for the distillery based in Lanesborough, Ireland. CEO Peter Clancy said: “We’ve created Bart’s primarily in response to demand from our international customers for releases in our single cask whiskey series, The Bridge. Due to the limited nature of these releases, we realised that we needed to add a permanent blended whiskey product to our portfolio. We developed the blend using whiskey sourced from Great Northern Distillery.” A blend of five liquids, Bart's is packaged in a bottle that is said to 40% lighter than other products in the category, reducing its carbon footprint. The bottle also features an e-label QR code which details ingredients and sustainability information to consumers. Michael Clancy, chief technical officer, said: “We set out to create a distinctive blend which would add to the Irish whiskey category. We started with classic grain whiskey, adding a large amount of pot still whiskey to give texture, spice, and mouthfeel. "Then, we layered on malts with oloroso Sherry and rye cask finishes and finally some peated whiskey. It took numerous iterations to get it right, and we took counsel from a tasting panel with some of the best palates in the industry, before we finally settled on what’s in the bottle today. "We call it a complex blend as we have five different elements all perfectly balanced." On the nose, the whiskey presents aromas of toasted marshmallow, sliced pear and cinnamon. Flavours of red summer fruit, dry spice and caramelised sugar are delivered on the palate. Finally, the finish is described as long, spicy, oily with wisps of smoke. Sheila Mullen, the company’s chief financial officer, said: “Our dad, Bart Clancy, had a tremendous interest in clocks and there was an obvious parallel between the complexity of the clock and the complexity of the whiskey blend we were creating. Each component, however large or small, has to work well with all the others, so we’ve reflected this in the label design” Bart’s Irish Whiskey clocks in at 46% ABV, and is available for RRP €46 (US$52.48) per 700ml bottling through Irish whiskey sales were recently reported to be at an 'all time high', according to the Irish Whiskey Association.