Bushmills Distillery :: Once In A Lifetime Celebration For Apprentice Cooper Chris Kane :: Bushmills® Irish Whiskey announces graduation of first Cooper in Ireland in over 30 years :: 16th September, 2016
Bushmills, Co. Antrim 16th September 2016: Bushmills Irish Whiskey today marks a momentous occasion in the 400 years of whiskey making history in the area, as apprentice Chris Kane becomes the first person from the Island of Ireland to graduate as a Cooper in more than 30 years.
Chris, who hails from the village of Bushmills itself, is the fourth generation of his family to cooper casks at the Old Bushmills Distillery, totalling 140 years of family service. His great grandfather, Jimmy Kane, started coopering in 1935, followed by his grandfather, Johnny Kane, in 1951.
Chris himself began coopering at home with his father, Alastair, at the age of nine and today he and his father keep this tradition alive as they work side-by-side in the Old Bushmills Distillery Cooperage.
It takes five years to learn the highly skilled trade of coopering. Testament to his talent and determination, Chris took only four years to master the skills, using the same tools that his great grandfather wielded over 80 years ago.
Today the art of coopering, as is symptomatic of many manual trades, is a dying craft. As industries become increasingly mechanised, the need for hand-craftsmanship becomes less and less relevant.
Chris explains: “It might not be an obvious career choice but coopering has been a part of my life since I was a young guy. When the apprenticeship opportunity came up four years ago, I left what was probably deemed a good ‘sensible’ job to follow what has always been my real passion. The wood, barrels, tools and craft, along with the opportunity to work with my dad each day, have given me the chance to contribute to the Bushmills Irish Whiskey story – it’s a dream job!”
Helen Mulholland, Master Blender of Bushmills Irish Whiskey said: “We are delighted to share in Chris’s success as he becomes a fully-fledged Cooper today. His family has been an integral part of Bushmills’s legacy for the past 140 years. He is a true artist, born to his craft, as the skill and attention that is required to cooper is nothing short of spectacular. Coopering is fundamental to our Irish Whiskey making process; to ensure we produce the same premium quality whiskey that we began making 400 years ago. With up to 80% of the character of our whiskey coming from the cask, our coopers are true guardians of Bushmills Irish Whiskey.”
Balcones Distilling Launches New Texas Pot Still Bourbon
Published Date: 19th February 2019
WACO, TEXAS: Balcones Distilling has today announced the launch of its Texas Pot Still Bourbon as the newest addition to the distillery’s core lineup of expressions. Read more
Wemyss Malts launches new website and Cask Club with an exclusive 35 year old Caol Ila
Published Date: 18th February 2019
Family whisky makers Wemyss Malts have relaunched wemyssmalts.com, a brand new website offering whisky fans the chance to join the Wemyss Malts Cask Club. Membership offers access to unique bottlings released solely to the members as well as preview purchases of the latest malt whisky releases. Read more
Exclusive Interview with Paul McDonagh owner of Bon Accord: Glasgow Whisky Bar
Published Date: 16th February 2019
It’s a pub that I have been into many times in the past, even before my passion for whisky took over. So, when I got the opportunity to meet the owner of “Bon Accord”, Paul McDonagh, I jumped at the chance. Read more
100,000 bottles of rare whisky sold at UK auction in 2018 - Value of rare whisky bottles sold at UK auction exceeds £40m
Published Date: 8th February 2019
Rare Whisky 101 co-founders Andy Simpson and David Robertson
The UK’s rare whisky auction market has exceeded sales of more than 100,000 bottles of rare whisky in a single year for the first time as global demand accelerates. Read more
New Irish Whiskey With A French Connection Writers' Tears Copper Pot Deau XO Cognac Cask Finish
Published Date: 6th February 2019
Carlow, Ireland: 5 February, 2019: Walsh Whiskey has released Writers’ Tears Copper Pot - Deau XO Cognac Cask Finish, a super-premium edition of its universally popular Writers’ Tears Copper Pot Irish whiskey. It is the fourth expression released under the Writers’ Tears range. Read more
Stars align for launch of Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition
Published Date: 5th February 2019
Loch Lomond Group has launched the Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition (46.8% ABV) in the UK, the oldest expression ever to be released from the now lost Littlemill distillery. Read more