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Terlato Wine Group Partners with West Cork Distillers Irish Whiskey, Irelands Largest Independently Owned Distiller

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LAKE BLUFF, IL (January 9, 2023) – Established in 1938, fourth generation family-owned and operated Terlato Wine Group has announced a new partnership with Ireland’s West Cork distillers. Effective January 1, 2024, Terlato Wine Group became West Cork Distiller’s exclusive sales and marketing agent in the United States.  

West Cork Distillery was established in 2003 by three childhood friends – John O’Connell, Ger McCarthy and Denis McCarthy — all of whom had a passion for high quality products and a shared belief that challenging tradition creates better innovation. The trio began their distilling business from a small room in the back of Denis’ home in Union Hall, County Cork utilizing two small stills bought off a schnapps producer in Switzerland.  Today, West Cork’s founders run their thriving business from their 12-acre distillery in Skibbereen, West Cork, a site with a distillation capacity for 8 million liters of pure Irish Whiskey (uisce beatha).

Bill Terlato, President and CEO of Terlato Wine Group commented, “We have worked with John O’Connell for the past 2 years and are very pleased to extend our relationship to include the West Cork line of Irish Whiskey expressions in the United States and look forward to sharing their passion, dedication and craftsmanship with consumers across the United States.  I believe our luxury sales and marketing expertise in our growing Spirits business will help West Cork to achieve its full potential here.”

John O’Connell, Co- Founder & CEO of West Cork Distillers said, “Our partnership with Terlato signifies a new chapter for West Cork Irish Whiskey. Our belief and growth ambition for the key US markets is matched by Terlato’s Route to Market strengths, passion for the category & our brand, along with a shared set of values. All of this creates the perfect conditions for an exciting and successful future partnership.”

The team at West Cork Distillers considers themselves as disruptors who value passion and creative thinking. So much so, they have designed and crafted several proprietary, handmade pot stills including ‘the Rocket’ which uses a rapid distillation process to enhance flavor for a cleaner, smoother tasting whiskey.  West Cork Distillers also believes that science is fundamental to great tasting flavor and apply techniques not usually found in whiskey production, such as Gas Chromatography and Reverse Osmosis.

Gas chromatography is a physical separation method, mainly used in chemistry. This technique separates and identifies compounds in a liquid. West Cork utilizes this science to get the consistency of their alcohol perfectly accurate, rather than solely using sensory analysis.  Reverse Osmosis, typically a process used to purify water and remove anything undesirable, is utilized at the distillery to force water out of certain products. This dramatically increases the concentration of the stout and IPA releases prior to putting them into the cask. This process allows West Cork to create impactful and intense flavors before the liquid begins to recess.

A sustainability mindset is at the forefront of West Cork Distillers and is an integral part of their business. When John, Ger, and Denis initiated production in Union Hall, they recognized the importance of examining their carbon footprint and taking action to reduce it. Sustainable practices have been woven into the fabric of West Cork Distillers from the very beginning and continue to influence decision-making at all levels.

West Cork Distillers craft a compelling range of awarding winning Irish Whiskeys, led by West Cork Bourbon Cask, Black Cask and the Glengarriff Series.   Additional Limited Release offerings will be imported to the United States later this year.

West Cork Bourbon Cask – A delicate blend of grain (75%) and malt (25%) Irish Whiskey matured in first fill bourbon casks. It is a smooth and balanced whiskey, tasting of malt, lingering sweetness, citrus, apple and nutmeg. SRP: $39.99

West Cork Black Cask – A fine blend of grain (66%) and malt (34%) whiskey aged in first fill bourbon casks for 3 years, and then matured a further year in heavily charred bourbon casks. The result is a beautifully balanced whiskey with a taste of vanilla, light smokiness and lingering sweetness. SRP: $49.99

West Cork Glengarriff Bog Oak Charred Single Malt – This triple distilled single malt Irish whiskey is initially matured in Sherry casks before being finished in casks that have been heavily charred using bog oak harvested from the local boglands of Glengarriff Forest. West Cork Distillers are unique in their own approach to Irish whiskey and this expression is exceptional.  Slightly sweet, dried fruit and a hint of smoke.  Spice, leather, dried fruit, pepper and malt.  SRP: $57.99

West Cork Glengarriff Peat Charred Single Malt – Peated whiskey is not prevalent in Ireland, but West Cork Distillers have proven successful with this intriguing expression. This whiskey is triple distilled single malt Irish whiskey which is initially matured in Sherry casks before being finished in casks that have been heavily charred using peat harvested from the local boglands of Glengarriff Forest.  Slightly sweet, dried fruit and a hint of smoke SRP: $57.99

Irish whiskey is seeing growth among super-premium expressions and focusing on sustainable ways of doing business.  High-end Irish whiskey expressions are becoming increasingly prominent; since 2003, premium Irish whiskey grew a staggering 1,053 percent and super-premium Irish whiskey grew 2,769 percent, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

This partnership amplifies Terlato’s long-term commitment to the spirits sector as they continue to build their artisanal spirits portfolio.

TERLATO WINES has a portfolio of more than 85 wine and spirit brands from world-class producers in more than a dozen countries and is the leading fine wine marketer in restaurants. For more information, please visit www.terlato.com.  A full list of Terlato’s world-class brands can be found here. 

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