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Nearly 800 years ago, the O'Donnell Dynasty ruled an ancient Gaelic kingdom in northwest Ireland called Tyrconnell (Tyrconnell means "The Land of O'Donnell" in ancient Gaelic). In 1876, the family of Andrew Watt entered a horse named "The Tyrconnell" in an Irish horse race known as the The National Produce Stakes. Despite the 100-to-1 odds against him, Tyrconnell won the race and the Watt family, which had been producing whiskey since 1762, celebrated by launching the Tyrconnell label.
Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey became one of the best-selling Irish whiskeys in the world and prior to Prohibition, was the best-selling Irish Whiskey in the United States. Ultimately, the drastic drop in sales the distillery experienced as a result of Prohibition caused it to close its doors in 1925. In 1987, the label was resurrected by the Cooley Distillery, which began producing Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey once more.
Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whiskey is made using the finest Irish barley, which is steeped in pure spring water and allowed to germinate. Unlike many Irish distilleries, Cooley Distillery does not use any smoke during the malting process, resulting in a cleaner taste of the malt and barley. After the barley is malted and mashed, yeast is added to the wort in order to begin fermentation.
The wash is then double distilled through the distillery's copper pot stills — the stills' small size and long necks result in more contact between the whiskey and copper, and ultimately produce a more refined and layered spirit. Following distillation, the whiskey is matured for a decade in seasoned oak casks which are stored in a 200 year-old granite warehouse. The seasoned casks impart notes of vanilla and caramel to the whiskey, and add a hint of cinnamon. Tyrconnell's 16-Year-Old Irish Whiskey, is aged in ex-American oak bourbon barrels. With notes of melon, candied pear, vanilla and coconut, this single malt is bottled at 46% ABV.
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