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Distilleries launch whiskey maturation project

Irish distillery Boann and US-based distillery Talnua have partnered up to compare whiskey maturation in different climates.

Boann Distillery whiskey maturation
L-r: Peter Cooney and head distiller Michael Walsh of Boann Distillery, with a selection of casks being used for the project. (Photo courtesy: Brian Connolly)

Talnua Distillery is a family-run business in Denver, Colorado, and Boann Distillery is located in Drogheda, County Meath. Through a transatlantic project, the two will discover how weather conditions affect the taste of single pot still whiskey matured 7,000 kilometres apart.

“This is much more about experimentation than a commercial enterprise,” said Peter Cooney, co-founder of Boann.

“We are sharing exactly the same recipe and types of barrel. But Colorado has a dry climate in a high-altitude, desert environment with low humidity, as opposed to our more stable mild, wet climate.”

The distilleries have filled a total of 14 casks between them using Cooney’s mash bill recipe but with ingredients from their respective areas. They will mature until 2026.

Cooney added: “The maturation conditions will be very different so we want to see exactly how that will influence the flavours in five years’ time.”

Talnua Distillery was founded after husband and wife owners Patrick and Meagan visited Ireland for their honeymoon in 2011. The two fell in love with single pot still whiskey after tasting it in Galway and launched the distillery seven years later in the US.

Boann Distillery’s global export sales manager, Matt Healy, formed a relationship with the Talnua Distillery owners while on a business trip in the States.

“These kind of projects are what distillers really get excited about,” said Patrick Miller.

“A collaboration bringing a single pot still whiskey project across the Atlantic showcasing the difference in flavour profiles between Ireland and Colorado is truly special. It’s an amazing project that highlights the Irish-American bond.”

The project saw Boann Distillery filling six 200-litre casks with whiskey, and Talnua filling eight. More were filled by the US distillery to account for evaporation. Overall, 2,800 litres of single pot still whiskey will be available by autumn 2026.

The liquid will be available to purchase in a pack comprising two 375ml bottles – one containing the American expression and one containing the Irish expression.

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