Facing into the fearsome Atlantic off Ireland’s west coast is Clare Island, a storied place heavy with history and myth. Sheltered within the harbour walls is a boat named The Dolphin and within her hull she holds rare casks.
Our small-batch first release Clare Island Single Malt Spirit Drink is aged at sea for four years, with the liquor in a gentle state of perpetual motion against Kentucky bourbon-barrel surrounds, opening up an ocean of possibilities in flavour profile and complexity.
To acquire this special brew means being part of an experience, the Spirit of Clare Island Experience.
All this is the genius of Carl O’Grady, of a fourth generation of ferrymen and the owner of the Sailor’s Bar.
A journey across water is always a change of state and a change of status. Many today share that experience and feeling when they head out to sea. But this “change”, it seems, is particularly the case with a journey to an island, especially in the wild Atlantic.
In the mythic imagination of the Irish people, there are many stories of such journeys. There are otherworld islands that offer eternal life, Tir na Nog, or eternal love, Oisin and Niamh, a discovery of paradise, the Brendan voyage.
Voyage of Máel Dúin
One story that inspires Clare Island Whiskey is that of a talented and beautiful son of royalty who becomes a troubled soul when he hears who he learns his parents are not his birth parents! Suddenly all is not well with the world. Things are out of order. He is a man with a ‘storm inside’. This is the voyage of Máel Dúin. His travels to 33 islands in search of resolution. His journey transforms him.
The Spirit of Clare Island Experience is a journey through 6,000 years of history, informed by Ireland’s wonderful mythology.
It is a journey through an iconic castle, an ancient abbey, graveyard and lighthouse, all with their special tales and mysteries. The experience is enriched with tall tales of the sea, told by the men of the sea. However, woven throughout is a secret code, one that needs to be unlocked.
Clare Island Whiskey is collaborating with Clare Island Lighthouse as the venue where participants in the Spirit of Clare Island Experience will taste their first drop of its unique matured-at-sea spirit. The stunning venue on the cliffs overlooking Achill, is the spot where the tasting happens and the taste is getting great reviews from those who know about these things.
We then head for Sailor’s Bar and Restaurant where in the feasting tradition of the Gaelic Chieftains - and in particular one of the greatest of them, Grainne Uaile, the Pirate Queen - we enjoy the food of the sea, with music and song, story and craic.
All that is left is for the ritual handing over of the casket with its exclusive presentation casket and Bottle of Clare Island Single Malt Spirit Drink. And your name’s entry in the log book. You are the owner of something rare. And with an unforgettable memory.
To find out more about the Clare Island Whiskey and book your Spirit of Clare Island Whiskey experience visit www.clareislandwhiskey.ie
Enjoy alcohol responsibly