Hinch Craft and Casks

Co Down distillery marries its fine aged whiskey with Irish craft beer casks.

Hinch Craft & Casks

Hinch Distillery’s Craft & Casks is a trio of fine Irish whiskeys that up the flavour game in the segment having been finished using craft beer casks.

A collaboration of the craftsmanship of Hinch Whiskey and the unique flavour of the Irish craft brewing scene is a new union at Hinch Distillery, which has spawned three new whiskies. 

The collection, known as Craft & Casks includes the Imperial Stout Finish, Irish Red Rye Finish and Rye Export Stout Finish which are disrupting the taste profile of the whiskey scene. 

Using casks from two Ulster breweries; Whitewater Brewery in Co Down and Kinnegar Brewery in Co Donegal, the three aged whiskeys have their own distinct flavours. 

The Imperial Stout Finish hails from Co Down, sitting in the shadows of the Mourne Mountains. Its Kreme de la Kremlin Imperial Stout brings orchard fruits and butter toffee tastes to the whiskey in what the distillery describes as a “luxurious mouthfeel of light toffee, coffee, vanilla sweetness and cinnamon spice follows”.

Meanwhile, the Irish Red Rye Finish and Rye Export Stout Finish are finished in Kinnegar Brewery beer casks boasting their own unique flavour profiles. This includes sweet toffee, bitter cocoa and a hint of red apple and orange zest citrus derived from Red Rye casks while the Export Stout Finish flaunts aromas of dark treacle, caramel and vanilla.

A modern and bold move for the whiskey lovers, the launch widens the growing portfolio at the distillery.

It brings its collection of whiskeys to nine variants and follows on from the distillery’s release of an 18 year old Single Malt finished in Château de la Ligne Grand Reserve wine casks ahead of Christmas 2020.

Speaking about the new releases, Head Distiller Aaron Flaherty said: “Our new Craft & Casks range is a delectable partnership between Hinch Distillery and two Irish craft breweries, which produces three distinctly flavoured beer barrel aged whiskeys.

“The union of whiskey with craft beer barrels is an emerging trend within the distilling industry and demand is surging. While Hinch is a relatively new name to the drinks’ fraternity, we have quickly risen to a par with the best around, beckoning prestigious awards in our two years of operation. 

“We are a recognised player in the whiskey scene globally and we always strive to be innovative in the whiskeys we create whilst paying attention to current trends in the category.

“It’s not news to those in the whiskey business that beer and whiskey are a natural fit and the boilermaker is a classic bar order. Our Craft & Casks take that trend one step further.”

Hinch Head Distiller Aaron Flaherty with the new Craft & Cask Whiskey

The launch comes as Hinch prepares to open its visitors centre which includes a Brasserie Bar and Restaurant, outside courtyard space, and multi-purpose events space for everything from weddings to corporate events at its 30,000sq ft site on Killaney Estate located between Belfast and Ballynahinch.

The new collection will be available from the Hinch Distillery Store from Thursday with SuperValu, Centra off-licenses and independents across ROI and UK taking delivery in two weeks, with a RRP of £35/€38 and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on them and trying them.

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