Irish lore credits the goddess Boann with creating the Boyne river in County Meath, but the Cooney family, who have more than 40 years experience in the Irish alcohol industry, can be credited with creating the premium distillery named for her.
Scottish master distiller John McDougall, purportedly the “the only man alive to have distilled all five types of Scotch whisky and also Irish whiskey,” advised and assisted in the establishment of the distillery which produces whiskey and gin in nano-copper pot stills from water sourced from the nearby Boyne Valley well.
The Boann Distillery resumes a storied history of distilling in Drogheda as the first operational distillery in the area since the Preston brothers distillery closed in 1968.
Under the watchful eyes of Michael Walsh, Ireland’s youngest head distiller at 29, Boann began distilling on December 13th 2019.
Boann is the home of the The Whistler collection, which consists of a family of three whiskeys and a smattering of limited expressions. Their core range consists of: ‘The Blue Note’ – a 7 year-old single malt; ‘How The Years Whistle By’, a 10-year old single malt; and ‘Natural Cask Strength Limited Edition’, also a 7 year-old single malt.
In a quest for sustainability everything is locally sourced and they operate a closed loop system for water. This recycles all the input water and maximizes energy recovery. The heat generated by distillation helps run the packaging lines at the moment and will heat the restaurant, visitor centre and offices when they open.
Rain water harvesting will be ultimately utilized to help minimize Boann’s carbon footprint and water their home grown gin botanicals.
In 2020, Boann teamed up with whiskey historian Fionnan O’Connor on a unique and interesting project. Fionnan discovered a collection of long-lost Irish whiskey recipes using recipes – or mashbills – which date back to the 1800s.
Using various percentages of malted barley, oats, wheat and rye, the experiment is not only a study of Irish whiskey history, but also one of flavor. 144 of these special casks will be released to the public after 5 years of maturation in an assortment of bourbon, rum, French red wine barrels and sherry casks.