February 27, 2024

Drumshanbo releases first whiskey distilled in Connacht in nearly 120 years

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Galánta, a limited-edition single malt, has a lovely ripeness on the palate and an excellent finish

Drumshanbo recently released Galánta, a limited-edition single malt whiskey. Aged in a mix of Kentucky bourbon and Marsala casks, and made from 100 per cent Irish malted barley, it was distilled at The Shed distillery in Drumshanbo in Leitrim and has been maturing there for the last seven years.

Owner Pat Rigney reckons that makes it the first whiskey distilled in Connacht since Nun’s Island Distillery in Galway closed in 1903. “Our whole raison d’être is to do everything here in Drumshanbo – our gin, our vodka, our whiskey. This place is our story.”

The 2021 edition of Galánta was delayed due to Covid, so they will release the 2022 edition later in the year. The 2021 includes the entire 2014 production which has been aged in a mix of bourbon and Marsala casks and then finished in Marsala. A total of 8,400 bottles were produced. “We’re very proud,” says Rigney, “it has taken a big effort and a lot of waiting. Our distiller Brian Taft is our hero, our quiet rock star. He is very shy but brilliant at his job.”

Dried fruits

Galánta is a lovely, subtle whiskey. There is no added colour so it is relatively pale. The aromas are of toasted wood, coffee and dried fruits. There is a lovely ripeness on the palate with sweet toffee apples and pears, a touch of honey and caramel, with an excellent finish.

“Our main focus will be on our single pot still, but working with this single malt was very exciting.” Galánta means bravery or excellence. It is available for €120 a bottle online and from leading whiskey specialists. 

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