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  • Danny Joyce | Editor

Dirtgrain Irish Whisky launched by Blackwater Distillery

Blackwater Distillery in West Waterford started making Irish whisky in 2018 and now, 4 years later, is delighted to launch the first generation of Dirtgrain Irish Whisky, titled the Manifesto release. 

A limited edition exploration in flavour inspired by how Irish whisky used to taste, the Manifesto release is limited to just 1,000 numbered boxes, each containing 4 x 200ml Single Cask Irish Whiskies. (Priced €250 & Delivery).

Inspired by mash bills (recipes) from 1838, 1893, 1908 and 1915, this is a unique opportunity to taste the whiskies enjoyed by previous generations. Each one is different, representing a distinct time and a place.


The Manifesto presentation box will come with a 64 page hard back companion book, by Peter Mulryan of Blackwater Distillery and author of The Whiskeys of Ireland, providing context and tasting notes, but also explaining how distilling processes have changed, and how much of Ireland’s whisky heritage has been lost.


“100 years ago Irish whisky was made from a mixed mash bill of oats, barley, wheat and rye. The grains were the thing; they made a whisky so full of flavour, it didn’t need years in casks to taste of something,” said Peter Mulryan.


"Using mash bills from the heyday of Irish whisky, and 100% Irish grown and malted grain, we have recreated four whiskies that otherwise would be lost to time. So why not try a 19th century whisky made just four years ago?”


The whiskies in this Manifesto release cannot be labelled as pot still Irish whisky, nor can there be any allusion to it on the label; even though historically that’s exactly what these four whiskies were. This is more than a first release from the Ballyduff distillery, this is a ‘manifesto’ of intent. While drawing inspiration from the past and celebrating whisky heritage, it’s also a statement about Blackwater Distillery’s ambition to redefine the category.

Dirtgrain Irish Whisky

Mash Bill #38 – 40% Laureate Barley, 40% Costello Wheat, 20% Gangway + Laureate.

• Aged in Apple Brandy Cask.

• 47.1% ABV

Tasting Notes: Orchard and pear skin, spicy baked hazelnut


Dirtgrain Irish Whisky

Mash Bill #93 – 46% Laureate Barley, 35% Gangway + Laureate, 15% Husky Oat, 4% Peated Laurate Malt.

• Aged in Sherry Cask.

• 43.1% ABV

Tasting Notes: Robust sherry and a leather satchel, pepper and spicy smoke

Dirtgrain Irish Whisky

Mash Bill #08 – 50% Gangway + Laureate Malt, 35% Laureate Barley, 15% Husky Oat.

• Aged in Bourbon Cask.

• 45.3% ABV

Tasting Notes: Fruity grain and redcurrant, dark cocoa powder

Dirtgrain Irish Whisky

Mash Bill #15 – 40% Laureate Barley, 30% Gangway + Laureate, 15% Husky Oat, 12% Costello Wheat, 3% Performer Rye.

• Aged in Rye Cask.

• 44.2% ABV

Tasting Notes: Orange blossom and dark chocolate, tropical plum pudding


John Dillon, Managing Director, Dalcassian Wines and Spirits, said “We are delighted to be the official distributor for Dirtgrain Irish Whisky in Ireland, it’s a very exciting concept and we look forward to unleashing the power of the mash bill!”


DIRTGRAIN IRISH WHISKY - The Manifesto Release is available via ballot on www.blackwaterdistillery.ie and from Irish and international trade partners. Dalcassian Wines & Spirits will be the main distributor for Dirtgrain Irish Whisky in the Irish market. Priced €250 plus delivery.


Blackwater Distillery was awarded Craft Producer of the Year 2023 at the Icons of Whisky awards held in Dublin last week. Brand Ambassador of the Year was won by Dan Grummel, and a Highly Commended Award for Master Distiller/Blender of the Year was awarded to John Wilcox. Blackwater Distillery will now go on to represent Ireland at the World Icons of Whisky competition being held in London next March.


Visit blackwaterdistillery.ie for more information.


Slán go fóill.

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