Clonakilty Distillery’s latest whiskey was released recently.

Galley Head inspires new whiskey

International Irish whiskey sales are set to surge again next year after a pandemic slowdown with one West Cork distillery launching a new whiskey recently and hoping to capitalise on the expected return to strong sales.

Clonakilty Distillery recently launched their brand-new single malt whiskey which is the latest addition to their award-winning range of spirits.

The Galley Head expression represents a departure for the distillery as the brand sought to create a high-quality whiskey that was accessible in terms of price but retaining a high quality and finish.

Matured and finished at their Atlantic Ocean warehouse, customers will be able to enjoy aromas of cocoa and rich fruits which has flavours of dark chocolate, red berries and liquorice with a long finish of oak spices.

A recent report published by the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) revealed that 96 per cent of Irish whiskey sales have in the past been to markets outside of Ireland, and, pre-pandemic, exports were worth an estimated €890m across both the Republic and Northern Ireland.

The IWA report also stated 2020 sales for whiskey still exceeded expectations but suffered a decline largely due to a collapse of Irish whiskey sales in global travel retail as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With international travel markets slowly reopening, it is expected that both sales and demand will both also return to pre-2020 levels.

Paul Corbett, Head Distiller at Clonakilty Distillery said: “We decided on single malt to produce a full flavoured, barley forward whiskey. We finished this single malt in two cask types, a re-shaved, re-toasted wine cask and a freshly disgorged Bordeaux red wine casks.”

“The rejuvenated wood imparts a caramel sweetness and complex spice to the whiskey while the fresh wine casks add a fruitiness that complements the cereal character of the malt,” he added.

The whiskey derives its inspiration from the Galley Head Lighthouse, which stands guard over the barley fields at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse, which was built in 1875, rises an imposing 53m above the roaring Wild Atlantic Ocean.

The lighthouse is situated across the bay and can be seen from the warehouse where Galley Head Whiskey is matured, finished, and bottled.

The Galley Head expression will be available to buy from off-licences and Supervalu and Centra stores across Ireland, as well as the Celtic Whiskey Shop, priced at RRP €39.50. At 40 per cent ABV, the 700ml can also be purchased online at