Hinch Distillery, Ireland’s newest premium distillery producing whiskey and gin in an age-old setting, is celebrating the opening of its retail shop this week

Countdown to Christmas gets underway in County Down

That’s the spirit as new whiskey and gin distillery, Hinch, opens its doors to the general public and releases a rare exclusive 18-year old single malt whiskey finished in wine casks.

Hinch Distillery, Ireland’s newest premium distillery producing whiskey and gin in an age-old setting, is celebrating the opening of its retail shop this week and just in time for Christmas.

The shop will open for a limited time period, from Friday 11 December to Wednesday 23 December, giving customers a sneak peek inside the distillery.

It will offer a complete range of Hinch Irish Whiskey and Ninth Wave Gin, gift sets, a varied range of premium branded gifts, in addition to a very limited-edition Single Malt Whiskey, all perfect for a winning start to the festive season.

Distilling has now commenced at Hinch Distillery and the complete visitors centre, including Distillery Tours and the Brasserie at Hinch, is scheduled to open early 2021.

The Distillery, which launched this autumn, has produced 650 bottles of a distinctive Irish whiskey expression to mark this very special milestone.  Hinch 18 Year Old Single Malt finished in Château de La Ligne casks is a delectable marriage of the distillery founder Dr Terry Cross’ two passions, his Bordeaux wine and his County Down whiskey.

Dr Cross, who also owns Château de La Ligne, a vineyard in Bordeaux, has produced this very exclusive whiskey by finishing the single malt in casks previously containing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot used in its finest wine, the Grande Reserve.

These casks have been emptied and refilled with fine Irish Single Malt whiskey that has spent 18 years maturing in Kentucky bourbon barrels. A further six-month finishing period in these casks has added rich new flavours of summer berries, sultanas and dark chocolate with a long and smooth finish.

This very rare release sees the production of just 650 bottles presented in a beautiful gift box, also containing a 750ml bottle of the Château de La Ligne Grande Reserve which has played such a significant role in the final whiskey.

Speaking about the unique opportunity to own part of the collection, Head Distiller at Hinch Distillery, Aaron Flaherty said: “Hinch whiskeys are inspired by the distilling traditions and skills exchanged over the centuries during the ebb and flow of Gaelic peoples across the Irish Sea. Informed by the past but looking to the future we create Irish whiskeys that are smooth yet distinctively richer and bolder in character and this exclusive Château de La Ligne influenced offering will present a deep and luscious ruby red appearance that is equally as bold in taste.

“Owners of this revered whiskey will detect scents of red summer berries, plum and apple with a delicate touch of red liquorice. The taste is bold, with the palate absorbing a toffee, caramel and dark cocoa undertone elevated by a backbone of sweet vanillins and freshly toasted oak. Nuanced touches of red apple, plum and summer berries clearly represent the influences of the wine finish. On the palate this whiskey delivers a multitude of differing layers of flavour all of which are individually both sumptuous and extremely moreish.

“The 18 years of initial ageing adds huge depth to the overall flavour profile of this superb whiskey. The chorus of influences brought to bear from its finishing in Château de La Ligne Grande Reserve casks elevates the already superb into becoming the absolutely sublime.”

The large retail shop is located within the reception area at Hinch distillery. Set on the 161-year-old Killaney Estate, which lies between Belfast and Ballynahinch, the business venture represents a £15M investment from Dr Terry Cross OBE.