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About West Cork Distillers

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Established in 2003, West Cork Distillers represents the vision of three childhood friends—John O’Connell, Ger McCarthy, and Denis McCarthy—who were motivated to pursue a passion far from their initial career paths. This trio of entrepreneurs, who once worked as trawlermen off the coast of West Cork, set out on a bold venture to craft Irish whiskey, embracing a tradition deeply rooted in the O’Connell family's distilling history.

The journey of West Cork Distillers started modestly in a small room at the back of Denis McCarthy's house, using two compact stills procured from a schnapps producer in Switzerland. Their humble beginnings were characterised by innovation and determination, seen in their hand-built distillery equipment including 'the Rocket', touted as the fastest still in the world at that time. In 2014, they shifted to a new distillery location in Skibbereen, marking a significant milestone in their growing operation. The distillery's expansion continued and in 2020, a new facility opened at Marsh Road, Skibbereen, solidifying West Cork Distillers' status as the largest wholly Irish-owned distillery in the country.

West Cork Distillers takes great pride in their craft, producing whiskey that is distilled, matured, and bottled on-site using the finest local ingredients. Every bottle is triple distilled and non-chill filtered, bearing the signature of the distillers' expertise and their commitment to authenticity. In less than two decades, they've succeeded in making their award-winning West Cork Irish Whiskey accessible around the globe, currently distributed in almost 70 countries.

As a testament to their dedication, the brand's case sales have risen significantly every year for the past six years, and their workforce has grown to over 150 people, with the majority based locally in West Cork. The future continues to look bright for West Cork Distillers, with plans to introduce more jobs, new products, and additional warehouses to meet the rising demand. Despite their growth, they remain dedicated to their roots, committed to maintaining Irish ownership, and nurturing their cherished West Cork heritage.


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