CH: Are you going after certain flavors?
TJ: We want the whiskey to be more earthy. Malted and roasted notes on one end, and a rich earthiness on the other. That’s different from a lot of Irish whiskey, which tends to be grassy and sweet. We’re making an Irish whiskey-lover’s kind of Irish whiskey. For the Jameson lover, not so much. When you graduate from Jameson, this is for you.
CH: What’s the future of Irish whiskey in America?
TJ: Well, America is the biggest market for Irish whiskey. And Irish whiskey still offers tremendous upside here. There’s no reason for it to be smaller than the scotch category over the long term.
I think consumers really get into Irish whiskey. There’s great Irish heritage in America, much more so than in the scotch category. And yet the category has underperformed and been under-loved for thirty years. Now that’s changing.
CH: Any plans while the whiskey is aging?
TJ: We’re going to make a few things in the meantime. We’ve developed an Irish gin and an Irish vodka (Conncullin Gin and Straw Boy’s Vodka). Our master distiller is a veteran gin-producer. He’ll be working with Irish botanicals like rowan and hawthorn to make a big bold gin to go along with our big bold whiskey.