PHOTO: Distillers and casks at Boann Distillery
Irish and US distilleries collaborate on transatlantic project to explore role climate plays on whiskey taste
Press Release | Arvada, Colorado | August 30, 2021
A major transatlantic project is underway to study how weather and climate conditions affect the taste of whiskey matured 7,000km apart.
An Irish distillery has teamed up with a family-run operation in Colorado, US, in a move which saw both simultaneously fill a total of 14 casks due to mature in 2026.
Boann in Co Meath and Talnua in the Centennial State are using exactly the same recipe, containing ingredients from their respective localities.
The unique initiative will examine how the Irish and American climates will influence the finished, single pot still whiskey once it is botted in five years’ time.
“This is much more about experimentation than a commercial enterprise,” said Peter Cooney, co-founder of Boann, whose World’s Best mashbill recipe is being used by both distilleries.
“We are sharing exactly the same recipe and types of barrels. But Colorado has a dry climate in a high-altitude, desert environment with low humidity, as opposed to our more stable mild, wet climate.
“The maturation conditions will be very different so we want to see exactly how that will influence the flavours in five years’ time.”
Talnua (an abbreviation of the Irish ‘Talamh Nua’ or new land), is steeped in Irish heritage – husband and wife owners Patrick and Meagan Miller fell in love with single pot still whiskey after tasting it in a Galway pub during their honeymoon in 2011.
Seven years later, they set up the first distillery exclusively making it in the US.
A relationship between both operations was formed when Boann’s Global Export Sales Manager, Matt Healy, met and interviewed the Millers in Arvada, Colorado, while on business in the US.
Both distilleries kept in touch – and earlier this month, at exactly the same time, they filled their casks with spirit containing 40% malt, 55% unmalted barley, 3.75% oats and 1.25% rye.
"These kind of projects are what distillers really get excited over,” said Patrick Miller.
“A collaboration bringing a Single Pot Still Whiskey project across the Atlantic showcasing the difference in flavour profiles between Ireland and Colorado is truly special. It's an amazing project that highlights the Irish-American bond."
Last year, Irish whiskey sales in the US generated almost €1billion worth of revenue for distillers here.
Data shows more than five million nine-litre cases of Irish whiskey were sold across the States.
During the Boann-Talnua project earlier this month, the Meath distillery filled six 200-litre casks at their plant outside Drogheda, but to account for evaporative differences, Talnua filled eight, meaning around 2,800 litres will be available by the autumn of 2026.
By then, whiskey enthusiasts will be able to buy two 375ml bottles – one each of the American and Irish-distilled, paired together in one pack.
Tasting sessions in the US and in Ireland are also planned after maturation.
PHOTO: Meagan and Patrick Miller of Talnua Distillery
About Talnua Distillery
Talnua Distillery is an artisan small batch distillery that proudly hand crafts each of our spirits. Established in 2017, we embarked on a mission to define a new chapter of whiskey history with the introduction of our American Single Pot Still Whiskey.
True to gaelic-style distilling practices, and unique to the new world, our spirits are produced using a mashbill of un-malted and malted barley and triple distilled in copper pot stills. Located on the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the altitude, changing seasons, crystal clear mountain spring water, and local barley all lend a uniquely American terroir to our products.
We are honored to carry on the traditions of our Irish ancestry and are proud to be leading the way as America’s First Single Pot Still Distillery.
It all began with husband and wife team Patrick and Meagan Miller. In a Galway pub on their honeymoon, they sat watching the 2011 Ireland vs. USA Rugby World Cup Match. An eager bartender was thrilled to share with them the first single pot still whiskey to be released in decades. He regaled them with the history of this nearly extinct style of whiskey and with the passion that one day, single pot still would regain its rightful place on the world stage. The love affair was instant, and the couples’ passion was forever ingrained in the story of single pot still whiskey.
With family history rooted in Irish ancestry, the couple returned to Ireland every year and knew that single pot still whiskey would forever be a part of their story. Knowing that single pot still whiskey was not yet available in the US they set out to create the first Single Pot Still distillery outside of Ireland. They wanted to bring this style of whiskey to America and imbue it with the nation's terroir while honoring Gaelic distilling traditions, the immigrant soul, and the pioneering spirit of the American people.
Our whiskeys and gins are produced using Single Pot Still distillation methods with a mashbill of 50% un-malted / 50% malted barley and triple distilled in copper pot stills. We age in the finest oak casks to mature every drop. For more information on Talnua Distillery and the two August 2021 releases, please visit www.talnua.com, www.facebook.com/TalnuaDistillery, or www.instagram.com/talnuadistillery