J.J. Corry - The Hanson
The Hanson reflects the matchmaking encompassed in Irish Whiskey Bonding and showcases the best of Ireland’s distilleries. It is a blend of Irish Grain Whiskeys carefully sourced from different distilleries. Aged for four, nine and ten years in ex-bourbon barrels, each cask was selected to build complexity upon the sweet grain whiskey.
The result is a bright, fruit-forward Irish Whiskey, mellowed with deep oak and rich toasted vanilla notes. Bottled at 46% abv without any coloring or chill-filtration, The Hanson is perfect by itself or in a refreshing highball.
Limited stock available in Australia
ABV: 46% VOL: 700ml
Serving Suggestion: This expression makes for easy drinking neat or mixed but was specially developed with the Highball in mind-just add your choice of soda for a refreshing, elevated highball for a long, sunny afternoon.
Tasting Notes: Bright and approachable, The Hanson has waves of vanilla fudge and toasted coconut on the nose, with top notes of griddled pineapple and lime. Fresh on the palate, green apples and lemon grass give way to a zingy mineralic finish.
Our vision is to respect tradition but embrace change.
In 2015 we built a bonded Rackhouse on the McGuane Family Farm and resurrected the lost art of Irish Whiskey Bonding. We are building an unparalleled library of Irish Whiskey flavours, with spirit sourced from distilleries all over the island of Ireland.
What is Whiskey Bonding
Irish Whiskey Bonding is the practice of sourcing new make spirit and mature Irish Whiskey from Irish distilleries and maturing, blending and bottling unique whiskeys.
During the ‘golden age’ of Irish Whiskey (in the 19th and 20th centuries), there were hundreds of distilleries operating on the island of Ireland. Most did not have their own brands of whiskey at that time, however. These distilleries made their new make whiskey spirit and sold it wholesale to the Bonders to age, blend and bottle. The Bonders were the publicans, grocers and mercantile owners. They would travel to their local distillery with their own barrels, fill them up with new make spirit and then cart them home for ageing and then blending. Bonders were present in every town in Ireland, giving rise to regional styles. Sadly, the Irish Whiskey Industry collapsed in the 1930s and the few remaining distilleries cut off the Bonders’ supply, leaving Irish Whiskey Bonding to die out.
The McGuane Family FarmOur business is based on the McGuane family farm, located along the Wild Atlantic Way in the beautiful County Clare. The farm has been in the McGuane family for generations and is still farmed today by P.J. McGuane (though these days his time is also taken up with Rackhouse management).
The Irish have a particular connection to the land and in 2015 founder Louise McGuane was struck by a sense of duty to secure the future of her father’s farm, along with the determination to make an enduring contribution to the resurgence of Irish Whiskey. A farmer’s daughter at heart but driven by innovation, Louise built a Rackhouse and blending room on her father’s land, which PJ still farms today, and with that became Ireland’s first modern Whiskey Bonder. Today, the McGuane Family Farm is now home to a herd of 30 cattle (depending on how good a year it is) and a few hundred sleeping casks of Irish Whiskey!
The McGuane Farm has been in the family since as far as records go back and the 17th century farmhouse now holds our Tasting Barn.
Our unparalleled library of Irish Whiskey flavours rests in a purpose-built Bonded Rackhouse on the McGuane Farm in Cooraclare, right along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Our library of flavours
As Bonders, we are building a library of flavours by sourcing Irish Whiskey from distilleries across the island of Ireland. It is our aim to make expressions that showcase the best of Irish Whiskey, old and new. Our Bonded Rackhouse is the only one of its kind in Ireland. It is styled after a traditional Dunnage house but also takes inspiration from the maturation houses of Kentucky and France. It has a southerly facing aspect and windows ensuring that the temperature allows for continuous maturation. The floor is nothing but clay earth with a gravel screed. This helps to naturally maintain humidity levels within the Rackhouse. It is small in scale, ensuring that the sleeping whiskey benefits from the wild fluctuations in barometric pressure and temperature we have in West Clare’s rugged landscape along the Wild Atlantic Way. We hand rack all of our casks on the bilge, which means on their sides, to give our spirit the benefits of extra contact with both heads of the barrel allowing for deeper flavour extraction from the wood.
Our Aging & Blending Process
We hand select every single cask of Irish Whiskey before they journey back to our library of flavours, which means we are familiar with the flavour profile of every one.
We classify the casks in our Rackhouse according to different flavour blocks.
These flavour blocks range from spicy vanilla to ripe banana, tropical coconut and smoky bacon. We pull from these flavour blocks to make unique and remarkable whiskeys. Small as we are, we’ll never have an unlimited supply of a certain cask. As we blend in small batches, we maintain our consistency in blends by always working with the same flavour blocks.
Our Founder - Louise McGuane
Louise left her home on the west of Ireland twenty years ago, with the aim to see the world. Her subsequent career in the drinks industry took her all over the world. She lived and worked in New York, Paris, London and Singapore. In those twenty years she worked with and learned from some of the best in multinational drinks companies such as Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Moet Hennessy.
After marrying her London based husband in 2012 she was soon faced with a tough decision. She knew she was no longer able to leap from country to country every three years or travel 80% of the time on business, and so she decided to walk away from her global corporate career. She took a little time off and spent it back home in Ireland. During that time she watched her 74 year old father & mother continue to work the farm as they had always done in the knowledge that neither Louise nor her brother would farm it after they were gone. The Irish have a particular connection to the land and she was struck by a sense of duty to secure the future of the family farm. Not being the farmer that her father is, she decided to use her established skill set and founded The Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Company. After all, Irish Whiskey is ultimately an agricultural product, so why not ensure a future for the farm for the next generation by ageing, blending and finishing County Clare’s first whiskey in living memory!
J.J. Corry - The man, the legend & our inspiration
Who Was J. J. Corry?
When we set out to understand the methodologies of Whiskey Bonders of the 1800's we didn't have to look too far. Only 3 miles away from our farm was once a renowned whiskey bonder called J.J. Corry. J.J. was an innovator and a man before his time. His little shop at 63 Henry St. Kilrush was a key part of the local community and the only place where you could buy J.J.'s pride whiskey, "Corry's Special Malt." It was available by the glass for 3 pennies or by the jar.
A Man Before His Time
J.J. was a true entrepreneur and innovator, born on a farm close to our brand home. Because he was not the first born son he was forced to make this own way in the world. We know that he dabbled in auctioneering before he set up his shop in 1890. Once he acquired the premises, and, after marrying the girl from the pub next door, he immediately set about developing his own brand. The town of Kilrush was a busy international port in the 1890s and J.J. would have purchased goods from all over the world directly from the ships’ Captains fresh from their travels. He sold tea from India, Rum from the Caribbean, Wine from France and Port from Portugal in addition to musical instruments, guns, ammunition and bicycles. As well as a pillar of the community, J.J. was also a true renaissance man and an early adopter of technology. As the social secretary of the town cycling club he even went as far as inventing his own bicycle, ‘The Gael’, after which we named our first whiskey. Most of all, J.J. was known for his hospitality and of course, his whiskey.
We let the Irish weather do the work
A majority of Irish Whiskey's flavour comes from the barrel in which it is aged and from the climate in which that barrel is stored.
Our approach to ageing, just like our approach to farming, is to work hand in hand with nature. The Irish weather is renowned for its unpredictability and tendency to change. It’s common here on the west coast of Ireland to experience four seasons in one day. Our farm, which sits right on the Wild Atlantic Way, has its own unique microclimate. Only one mile "as the crow flies" from the Atlantic Ocean, the air is tinged with brine and the temperature can fluctuate wildly throughout the day. Not so great for a biking holiday but fantastic for ageing whiskey. The unique influence that this atmosphere will impart on our spirit won't be apparent for a few years yet, but we are willing to wait.