Cognac producer Camus has unveiled a project to make an Irish whiskey, using old cognac barrels with ex-bourbon casks blended and aged on an Irish island.
Lambay whiskey takes its name from the island off the Irish coast near Dublin, which is owned by the Baring family, of Baring Bank fame.
The whiskey was unveiledbut it will be formally launched at the TFWA travel retail/duty free show in Cannes in October. It comprises a blend and a single malt, both 40% abv.
The suggested retail prices are €25-30 and €45-50 respectively.
The young spirit (4YO for the small batch blend and 7YO for the unpeated single malt) comes from West Cork Distillers. Camus master blender Patrick Leger, then blends the whiskeys and the casks are left on the island to marry and age.
The company has experienced the effects of a maritime climate on the ageing process through its Île de Ré Fine Island Cognac. Leger said that ageing close to the sea means more alcohol than volume is lost than in a ‘dry’ cellar and apart from possible salty notes, the humidity gives a roundness to the spirit.
Both Camus CEO, Cyril Camus and Leger were at great pains to stress that the whiskey is still “work in progress” but the three-year project is in its “final stages”.
Just as Lambay island is privately owned and strictly by invitation only, both parties see Lambay whiskey as a limited edition, luxury, bespoke product for discerning palates.
Camus said there are no immediate plans to build a distillery on the island but growing barley on the island and using it for distillation is a possible long term plan.
An article from Drinks International by Christian Davis