Founded in 2015 by Louise McGuane, J.J. Corry Irish Whiskey is Ireland’s first modern Whiskey Bonder. ‘Traditionally in the 1800s, Whiskey Bonders created special blends for their customers. We have revived that concept,’ explains McGuane. A popular method of creating bespoke whiskey flavour profiles in the 19th and 20th century, the art of Whiskey Bonding died out in Ireland during the 1930s. Before this there were hundreds of distilleries in Ireland, but most did not actually have their own brands of whiskey. Instead, they made their new-make whiskey spirit and sold it wholesale to Bonders to age, blend and bottle.
In a resurrection of this craft, J.J. Corry today sources spirits from carefully selected Irish distilleries, and goes on to mature it in its own bonded rackhouse on the McGuane family farm in Cooraclare, Co. Clare. Once this process is complete, different whiskeys are blended together to craft a unique flavour.
As some whiskeys will take many years to age, it also sources mature whiskey for blending. Seeking out only the rarest stocks, it meticulously monitors the flavour evolution of each cask. This has allowed J.J. Corry to curate a library of Irish whiskey flavours, drawn from both traditional and contemporary distilleries around Ireland, forming a collection that has gone on to help it win multiple awards for both quality and taste, including gold medals in the Irish Whiskey Awards and San Francisco Spirits Competition and World Whiskies Awards.
In keeping with its spirit of innovation coupled with respect for the past, its latest release is a collaboration with Bordeaux Index Fine Wines & Spirits, which sees it using ex-Speyside barrels supplied by the company to house bonded flavours from a collection of rare 1991 casks. These were blended and then vatted, being left to harmonise for 18 months. The result is 60 bottles each of The Vatting No1 and No2, a 30-year-old single malt Irish whiskey, offering a taste unachievable from single barrel sourcing alone.
J.J. Corry’s The Vatting No1 and No2 are exclusively available from Bordeaux Index Fine Wines and Spirits; RRP £1,500; jjcorry.com