Nestled in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains in County Down, Ireland, lies a gem in the world of Irish whiskey: Killowen Distillery. Far from the city lights, this tiny, owner-operated distillery stands as a testament to the historic art of whiskey-making, embracing authentic whiskey-making traditions while crafting spirits that are truly unique.
Killowen Distillery’s philosophy revolves around embracing artisanal traditions, honoring the past, and infusing each expression with a touch of modern ingenuity and complete transparency. Owner and distiller Brendan Carty passionately believes in the art of handcrafting, and this belief reflects in every aspect of the distillation process.
From hand-selecting the grains to personally overseeing each batch’s open fermentation and low and slow distillations, Brendan brings an artisan’s touch to every bottle that bears the Killowen name.
Direct fired stills, filled to no more than 40% capacity, ensure no two distillations are alike. Every spirit is truly unique and at the mercy of the temperatures of the confined distillation space, the weather rolling down the mountains and judged throughout the process by Brendan’s nose and palate. No computers or dials or automations interfere with this age-old practice of simply knowing through intuition and taste when the spirit is ready. “Handcrafted” barely does justice to the manual approach to flavour creation.
Available exclusively to members of the Stories & Sips Whiskey Club
all over the world from Wednesday, July 26th at 8am Pacific/11am Eastern/4pm Irish time on the link at the base of the page.
Style: Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Mashbill: 8 sacks (25kg) Malted Barley, 4.5 sacks unmalted barley, 1 sack malted maris otter barley, quarter sack of wheat, quarter sack of oats
Distillation: Double distilled
Maturation: 3.5 years in a 120 liter ex-bourbon barrel and 7 months in a 120 liter Pedro Ximénez Sherry cask
Bottled at: 57.7% ABV/115.4Proof
Number of bottles: 220 (single cask)
Price: $129 including custom logo Glencairn Whiskey Glass
Shipping: Subsidized $25 shipping to US/Eur 6.95 shipping to Ireland. 1 bottle per person while stocks last. First come, first, served
How to buy: SOLD OUT
Labeling our precious spirit
Nose: Bright and vibrant – zesty orange, wet grass, spicy ginger and rich, caramelized/burnt brown sugar notes follow sweet sherried wine.
Palate: Creamy and voluminous – white pepper effervescence, torched crème brûlée crust, stewed figs and raisins, vanilla cream, cloves and redcurrants.
Finish: Cloves, pepper and white wine in a medium length finish.
Wax-dipping our bottles in a very professional manner
A Storied Whiskey
- It’s only the third cask ever filled at the distillery
- This is the first Killowen Distillery-produced whiskey that has reached 4 years of age
- It becomes our first Club whiskey to contain a mashbill that includes wheat or oats
- It’s the third whiskey from County Down for us to release following successful releases from Shortcross & Echlinville Distillery
Why Release This Whiskey?
Killowen Distillery had not even been established when Stories & Sips launched in 2017 and when we launched our Whiskey Club in 2021, Killowen had not yet released their inaugural whiskey, yet two short years later we have one of the most complex, flavorful whiskeys available to us, that belies its age yet pays homage to the long, financially-inefficient, handcrafted approach utlized by Brendan Carty at Killowen Distillery.
Long before this whiskey was a possibility for us, we recognized Brendan’s passion for heritage distillates, for how whiskey used to be made, for his proposed changes to the technical file that would allow single pot still whiskey be made the way it once was and for the spirits tasted as they left the still. Brendan Carty was the first person we asked to help us launch our Whiskey Club
with the first-ever Meet The Maker event
and we have followed the impressive Killowen journey ever since.
More than 18 months ago we shared with Brendan our goal to introduce whiskey fans across the United States and elsewhere to his spirits, his distillery and his vision through Stories & Sips and vowed that any chance of obtaining a cask of his precious whiskey would be met with as much support as we are capable of giving! This is a collaboration we’ve wanted to do since the day we launched our Club and couldn’t be more excited for our Club members to taste it.