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Clonakilty Distillery Launch Galley Head Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Clonakilty Distillery Launch New Galley Head Whiskey Expression.

Galley Head Whiskey Clonakilty Irish Whiskey Distillery. Irish Whiskey Blogger Stuart McNamara

Clonakilty Distillery is located on the edge of Clonaklity town in West Cork on the south west coast of Ireland, about an hour’s drive west of Cork city. Founded by the Scully family in 2016, the distillery includes an award-winning visitor experience and gin school. The distillery grows their own barley and matures their whiskey on their family farm on the oceans edge at Galley Head, just a few miles west of Clonakilty town.

This part of the Irish Coast along the Wild Atlantic Way driving route is famous as one of the best places in Ireland for Whale Watching. This is why Clonakilty Distillery have chosen a Whale’s Tail as their brand logo. There is also an impressive life size sculpture of the same Whale’s Tail outside the front door of the distillery.

Galley Head Whiskey Clonakilty Irish Whiskey Distillery. Irish Whiskey Blogger Stuart McNamara

Galley Head Lighthouse near Clonakilty, West Cork Ireland. Image courtesy of Clonakilty Distillery

Galley Head Light House

Galley Head is an imposing coastal headland on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way tourism trail. It is also home to the iconic Galley Head Lighthouse which soars to 53 metres above the headland. This is a part of Ireland that I know very well as I grew up on the shore on Courtmacsherry Bay, half way between Galley Head Lighthouse and The Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse. On dark winter nights, the loom of both lighthouses would silhouette the hills on either side of our house. Two flashes every ten seconds from Kinsale and a ripple of five flashes every twenty seconds from Galley Head. Galley Head along with it’s neighbour to the west on the Fastnet Rock were reputed to have been two of the most powerful lighthouses in Europe. Up until about twenty years ago, all of these lighthouses were manned 24/7 by lighthouse keepers, but today the lights are automated and unmanned.

Many sailors including myself were saddened to see the removal of the human presence at each lighthouse. It was always very reassuring when punching through stormy seas on dark windswept night to know that there was another competent and experienced mariner behind every lamp. Not that there was anything they could do to assist you if things went wrong, but it was always nice to know that you were not completely alone in challenging conditions.

A small plus from the automation is that visitors can now rent the disused Keeper’s Quarters at several Irish Lighthouses including Galley Head, as overnight tourist accommodation from the Great Lighthouses of Ireland owned by the Irish Landmark Trust. As far as I know, the lighthouse at Galley Head has ceased using an automatic fog horn since about 2011, but best to check when booking!!

Galley Head Whiskey Clonakilty Irish Whiskey Distillery. Irish Whiskey Blogger Stuart McNamara

The newest addition to the Clonakilty Whiskey range has been named after the lighthouse as Clonakilty Distillery Galley Head Single Malt Irish Whiskey.

Galley Head Single Malt Whiskey is to be released as Clonakilty Distillery’s core expression. Produced for domestic and export markets. Clonakilty Whiskey currently export to the UK, Germany, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Japan, and Russia, as well as 15 US states and two Canadian provinces.

The Galley Head expression represents a new departure for the Distillery as the brand sought to create a high-quality whiskey that was accessible in terms of price but still retained the quality and finish that Clonakilty Distillery has become renowned for amongst whiskey connoisseurs.

Galley Head Whiskey Clonakilty Irish Whiskey Distillery. Irish Whiskey Blogger Stuart McNamara

The three Copper Pot Stills of Clonakilty Distillery. Image © WhiskeyBlogger.com.

Paul Corbett, Head Distiller at Clonakilty Distillery had this to say about the new whiskey,

“We decided on single malt to produce a full flavoured, barley forward whiskey. We finished this single malt in two cask types, a re-shaved, re-toasted wine cask and a freshly disgorged Bordeaux red wine casks”.

“The rejuvenated wood imparts a caramel sweetness and complex spice to the whiskey while the fresh wine casks add a fruitiness that complements the cereal character of the malt,”

he added.

Galley Head Whiskey Clonakilty Irish Whiskey Distillery. Irish Whiskey Blogger Stuart McNamara

Matured and finished at their Atlantic Ocean Warehouse before bottling at 40% ABV, Galley Head Single Malt according to their press release,

“represents a marriage of a re-shaved, re-toasted wine cask and Bordeaux red wine casks. Customers old and new will be able to enjoy aromas of cocoa and rich fruits which has flavours of dark chocolate, red berries and liquorice with a long finish of oak spices”.


Clonakilty Distillery have said they are hopeful that this new release…

“…..Will provide a foundation on which they can continue and develop to grow their brand, in addition to attracting a range of new customers seeking to broaden their whiskey horizons”.


The Galley Head expression will be available to buy in Ireland from off-licences, Supervalu and Centra stores across Ireland, as well as the Celtic Whiskey Shop, priced at RRP €39.50. It can can also be purchased online at www.clonakiltydistillery.ie.

I look forward to buying a bottle when I finally catch up with a long overdue visit back home to West Cork in a week or so.

Galley Head Whiskey Clonakilty Irish Whiskey Distillery. Irish Whiskey Blogger Stuart McNamara

Clonakilty Distillery Still Room. Image © WhiskeyBlogger.com

To keep up to date with all things Clonakilty Distillery, check out Clonakilty Distillery on Twitter @clondistillery and on Facebook and Instagram @clonakiltydistillery.

Read more about Clonakilty Distillery.

 Buy Clonaklity Whiskey Online from The Whisky Exchange

Whiskey Blogger
Whiskey Blogger

Stuart McNamara (@WhiskeyBlogger) is an international Whiskey Blogger who edits several International Whisk(e)y and Whiskey Tourism sites including IrishWhiskey.com and WhiskeyBlogger.com. He is Chair of the Irish Craft And Artisan Distilleries Association (ICADA) and is an elected member of the National Council of ISME, the Irish SME Association. He is also the creator and editor of International Irish Whiskey Day which is celebrated on 3/3 or 3rd March each year and had a global social media reach in 2021 of over 20 Million. He is a Director of Portmagee Whiskey and has also acted as both a brand and product development consultant to several other Irish Whiskey and other spirits producers.

International Whiskey Reviews by Irish Whiskey Blogger Stuart McNamara