J.J. Corry + Cliffs of Moher + Stories & Sips: Our Next Club Whiskey
Listen to Louise McGuane share the story of this mad idea
An Iconic Place & Project
Earlier this year, J.J. Corry founder Louise McGuane selected a range of Single Malt, Single Grain and Single Pot Still whiskeys from their flavor library and matched each whiskey to Sherry casks carefully crafted by their partner cooper in Montilla, Spain. Each of these casks contained Sherry wines hand-selected by Louise from bodegas across Spain.
In June, the J.J. Corry team drove these casks (9 x 50 liter casks) up the hilly path to one of Ireland’s most iconic spots, the Cliffs of Moher, for a very special project.
The Cliffs of Moher are a testament to the power of nature. J.J. Corry whiskeys are a product of the slower-acting, more subtle forces of nature. Over the summer, these casks will reside in a new home – the iconic O’Brien’s Tower, 700ft above the Atlantic Ocean where these small casks will be heavily influenced by temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure as they enjoy their summer residence.
It is the first time that whiskey casks have made this tower their home and what effects the height, the pressure, the ocean will have on them is all to be revealed!
We are thrilled to announce that the Stories & Sips Whiskey Club will play its part in this project, helping to monitor and evaluate the whiskeys throughout their time in the tower and when the time is right, making the decision about which casks to potentially bottle and release to members of The Stories & Sips Whiskey Club.
If the whiskey evolves the way we hope, we may opt to bottle all casks in one large collection of individual single casks, or the whiskey may have other plans that it hasn’t yet revealed to us. We have first refusal on the entire collection of Cliffs of Moher whiskeys. If there is sufficient demand, we may be able to create an iconic collection of whiskeys, with individual personalities, profiles and stories.
The whiskeys resting in O’Brien’s tower are made up of a range of single pot still, single malt and single grain whiskeys, finishing in a mixture of 9 x Pedro Ximénez, Amontillado, Oloroso and Palo Cortado Sherry casks made by Tonelería del Sur in Montilla, Spain.
The whiskeys have spent an average of 5 years each in first-fill bourbon barrels before this finishing project. Each cask is a quarter the size of a traditional bourbon barrel (50 liters vs 200 liters) and this extra surface to whiskey contact is expected to intensify flavor contribution in a shorter time.
Stories to go with the sips
Every one of these casks has a story – about wood, sherry, the hands that crafted the staves, the region of Spain where they’re made, the Cliffs have their own million-year+ history, full of tales of shipwrecks, hospitality, smuggling, tourism and more, and the whiskeys themselves bring their own stories to us as well.
Over the course of the finishing period, during the Summer of 2022, we’ll unlock these stories through a number of special events that will bring us closer to the people, the places and the pours of these very special whiskeys.
- On August 2nd we’ll broadcast live from The Cliffs of Moher in a “Meet the Maker” event like no other, with Louise McGuane and Barry Chandler unlocking these casks for the first taste after a month in O’Brien’s Tower. They’ll share their thoughts and chat with our audience on the topic of whiskey bonding and this unique project.
- We’ll invite Whiskey Club members to join us in Ireland (should they be passing through!) to taste these whiskeys themselves at an exclusive tasting event and learn about the history of their iconic surroundings.
- We’ll meet Rafa Cabello, CEO and Head Cooper of Tonelería del Sur, maker of the Casknolia casks used in this project, so we can learn about coopering and the influence of sherry and wood.
- We’ll taste these whiskeys again in September, inviting Club members to join us in-person and virtually as we make decisions on which whiskeys we may want to bottle and release.
- J.J. Corry will host a tasting event of these whiskeys in New York in September so that you get a chance to meet the team behind them and taste the storied sips yourself.
The Next Steps
We’ll shortly be making an announcement on all the dates for our virtual and in-person events so keep an eye on your email. If you don’t already receive our emails, you can add your details below.
Once we have made a decision (with your help, hopefully) on which whiskeys we want to bottle, we’ll open up pre-sales of the whiskey online. Once bottled, we will then ship to you directly from Ireland to land in your hands and glass by the end of September, all going to plan!
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