Episode 7: The Cooley Effect & The Rise of Single Pot Still Whiskey, Again.

August 13, 2022


Welcome to the final episode in our seven part podcast series, The History of Irish Whiskey.

In each episode we’ve set out to question the traditionally held beliefs on the evolution of Irish Whiskey from dispelling the myths surrounding the involvement of Irish monks in the first distillation of the spirit that would become whiskey in episode 1 through to the chronological discussion of the key acts, legislation and decisions that shaped a once-rudimentary spirit into the Irish Whiskey category we have today, complete with global legal protections, clear definitions and styles and a whiskey industry that is producing more whiskey today than it ever has before. 

The history of Irish Whiskey is full of happy accidents, unintended consequences and unexpected course corrections. In more recent years it has been guided by other factors - vision, hope and beliefs. Never have so many people been involved in helping create the future of the Irish Whiskey category. Never has so much been invested in its growth, in jobs, in ingredients and equipment needed to further the spread of Ireland’s revered spirit. 

So to all who make, market and sell Irish Whiskey in Ireland abroad, this series is dedicated to you. The history of Irish Whiskey is being written every day and future generations will look back with pride at the efforts undertaken today to give more people a chance to taste and enjoy the diversity of styles and products that make up the wonderful world of Irish whiskey. 

In this final episode we chat about the critical period between the mid 1980s and today - a period that, through some International involvement and an entrepreneurial entrant, gave us a very interesting end to the 1980s and the entry of the first independent distillery to the island in a generation - Cooley Distillery in Co. Louth, a former potato alcohol plant owned by the government that was acquired by John Teeling and converted into an Irish Whiskey distillery. 

Irish Whiskey Historian & Co-Host, Fionnán O'Connor, dives deep into Ireland's whiskey past.

What we learn about in this episode

  • The arrival of John Teeling onto the Irish whiskey scene
  • The opening of Cooley Distillery and its challenge to the dominance of Irish Distillers
  • The first Single Grain Irish Whiskey
  • The reopening of Locke's Kilbeggan Distillery
  • The growth of Tullamore D.E.W. internationally
  • Dingle and the beginning of the craft distilling movement in modern times
  • The return of the whiskey bonders and bottlers
  • The meteoric rise of Jameson Irish Whiskey globally and its impact domestically
  • The future hopes for a burgeoning Irish whiskey category. 


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Here is a short clip of our conversation:




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