The Irish Whiskey Academy, Midleton

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Our Experience at Midleton Distillery

Written by Conor Murray (Manager of our Ballincollig Store) 

Published by Lorna O’Driscoll

Upon arriving at the Midleton Distillery, as a guest, you are immediately hit by the vastness of the project. Buses shuttling tourists flow continuously in and out the gates, while large stone brick buildings stretch into the distance.

This is no small scale affair, this is the home of iconic Irish whiskies and in particular, Irish Pot Still Whiskey.

A group of twelve whiskey enthusiasts from the off trade, including Pawel Janus from our Oliver Plunkett street store and myself, eagerly assembled at the main doors to the distillery, having been invited to participate in and experience the Jameson Whiskey Academy, a purpose built academy to train members of the drinks industry and the public on all things whiskey.


Conor Murray & Pawel Janus

Our Guide and tutor, Dave McCabe, took us through every aspect of the production line.

We touched and smelled the barley ingredient used from the start, we peered into the giant Pot stills used to distill the spirit and we sampled straight from the American Oak Barrels (25 year old) and Sherry Butt Casks (18 year old) used to age the whiskies in the distillery warehouses!


Dave has an incredible wealth of knowledge in regards to whiskey production and tasting and I thoroughly recommend hearing him speak on the topic if you ever get the chance.

The highlight of the experience for me was sampling each of the three new products from the distillery, “The Distillers safe”, “The Blenders Dog” and “The Coopers Croze”.

Now available to buy online:




Also available in any of our 9 stores, Cork City & County.


Each has been uniquely tailored by Head Distiller Brien Nation, Head Blender Billy Leighton and Head Cooper Ger Buckley respectively, according to what they themselves would like to see in a whiskey.

Each product leans towards their profession, so expect the “Coopers Croze” to be heavily influenced by oak etc.

The standout of the three, in my opinion, was the “Distillers Safe”, as it highlights the Distillate process, placing emphasis on the spirit rather than the oak ageing, the whiskey was smooth, with hints of apricot and cinnamon.

Having had an Unforgettable two days at the Distillery, I would like to extend the thanks of both Pawel and myself, on behalf of the O’Donovans Off Licence Group, for inviting us to the Academy. It was plain to see the passion and effort that has been put into the academy and tour and it is a credit to the whiskey industry in Ireland.


I would highly recommend to anyone reading this to take a trip to the Distillery and experience it for yourselves!

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