Made by a Proud Many: Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey

Image: Kilbeggan Distilling Company / Beam Suntory

CHICAGO, IL – For more than 200 hundred years, the humble town of Kilbeggan produced a whiskey beloved the world over. As Ireland’s oldest licensed distillery since 1757, Kilbeggan has always been more than just a stone building with a water wheel to power it and its copper pot stills. It has been the townspeople’s heart and soul, their pride and joy. 

Today, the town of Kilbeggan celebrates the announcement of another beloved whiskey: Kilbeggan® Single Grain Irish Whiskey. Released in the U.S. this month, the newest addition to the Kilbeggan Distilling Company offers a premium whiskey for enthusiasts and bartenders alike.  

When Prohibition in the U.S. and other factors contributed to the shuttering of Kilbeggan Distillery’s doors, the residents banded together to save the whiskey that defined their town. They pooled funds to pay for the distillery license and put in years of hard work, late nights and weekends to restore it until eventually the distillery came back to life and its stills were once again filled. Every bottle of Kilbeggan, an original Irish whiskey built on the strong bond between the town that birthed it and the distillery producing it, is proof that their spirit has never left. It is the townspeople’s dedication to honoring the whiskey-making traditions of the past while creating a better future that inspired the creation of Kilbeggan Single Grain. It can be said that this is a single grain made by a proud many. 

“The passion and dedication that the citizens of Kilbeggan put into keeping this distillery alive is truly inspirational,” says John Cashman, Beam Suntory Global Brand Ambassador, Irish Whiskey. “Kilbeggan Single Grain is born out of this resilience and we are proud to offer a whiskey to be enjoyed by all – whether that’s as a traditional neat dram or in a modern craft cocktail. The folks at Kilbeggan Distilling Co. are happy to share it with you any way you like.”

The notion that “single grain” describes a whiskey made with just one grain is a common misperception. Rather, the term refers to whiskey made in a single location using malted barley and at least one other grain. Kilbeggan Single Grain is made of 94% meticulously-sourced corn plus 6% malted barley. 

Distilled at 86 proof, Kilbeggan Single Grain is a delicate spirit that absorbs the flavors of the casks in which it is aged. After aging in ex-bourbon barrels, it is finished in a marriage of ex-bourbon and various fortified wine barrels. It possesses Irish whiskey’s trademark versatility and smoothness, making it the ideal for modern or classic cocktails, like a Whiskey Sour, but with enough depth of flavor to be sipped neat.

“Kilbeggan enjoyed a tremendous heyday back in the 1800s when Irish whiskey was thriving and distilleries abounded, before the devastation to the industry that came with Prohibition and other challenges,” says Cashman. “A few years ago, I’m happy to say, the world rediscovered the beauty of Irish whiskey. And Kilbeggan once again is rising to the top and setting the standard through innovations like Kilbeggan Single Grain. We can’t wait to see a bottle on every bar, just like in the good old days.”

With the booming consumer interest in brown spirits, Irish whiskey has seen substantial growth over the last decade. Per the Distilled Spirits Council, the national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the U.S., Irish Whiskey volumes rose 18.7% in 2016 to 3.8 million cases and revenues were up an impressive 19.8% to $795 million. The Council reports that much of this growth is fueled by the rise of high-end and super premium Irish whiskeys, which grew an astounding 737% and 3,455%, respectively, since 2002.  

The U.S. will be the first country in the world to introduce Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey. Available beginning in late June 2017 with a suggested retail price of $29.99 (750ml), it joins the U.S. portfolio alongside Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey (40% ABV), an approachable, smooth blended whiskey that is still made using traditional methods. With the new expression, Kilbeggan Distilling Company’s portfolio now features several whiskeys that appeal to and are available across a variety of consumer targets, price tiers and whiskey occasions. 

 

KILBEGGAN SINGLE GRAIN TASTING NOTES | 43% ABV

NOSE: Coconut cream, vanilla, jellied fruit and summer red berries

PALATE: Wafer-like biscuit sweetness, hazelnut and light spice with nice oak tannins drying on the side of the mouth

FINISH: Crisp and fruity, glazed cherries drying with a lingering spice