The Ireland Whiskey Trail - A unique trail through the magic of whiskey and whiskey distilling in IrelandThe Ireland Whiskey Trail - A unique trail through the magic of whiskey and whiskey distilling in IrelandStart the Ireland Whiskey Trail here

The Cooley Whiskey Distillery in Riverstown Co. Louth Ireland - Click for larger size image

The two pot stills in the Cooley Distillery - Click for larger size image

Cooley Whiskey maturing in the Kilbeggan warehouses - Click for larger image

Cooley Master Distiller, Noel Sweeney - Click for larger image

The Cooley Distillery - Cooley Peninsula

Cooley Distillery was the first new whiskey distillery to be set up in Ireland in over 100 years and it is Ireland’s youngest, smallest and only independent whiskey distillery.  It was established in 1987 in the Cooley Peninsula in Co. Louth, near the border with Northern Ireland, and started distilling in 1989. 

The Cooley Distillery currently produces 1.5 million litres of pure alcohol and fills approximately 12,000 200L ex-Bourbon casks annually. It distils both grain whiskey in column stills and pure malt whiskey in traditional copper pot stills and operates a double distillation process.   Cooley therefore produce Single Malt whiskeys and blends, both under their own labels and for independent bottlers and distributors.  For full information on all Cooley whiskey brands and the production process, please visit the Cooley website.

From very early on, Cooley set about reviving many of the historic brands and distilling techniques of Irish whiskey.  It is currently the only distillery in Ireland producing peated malt whiskeys and bottling single grain whiskey.  Some of the old historic Irish whiskey brands which Cooley re-introduced to the Irish and international markets are Locke’s, Tyrconnell and Kilbeggan.


All Cooley whiskeys are matured in ex-Bourbon casks, with the exception of whiskeys finished in special casks, such as the Tyrconnell Port, Madeira or Sherry finishes or the new Connemara Single Malt Sherry Finish.  Their stock matures both at the distillery in Cooley and in the 200 year old granite warehouses of the old Kilbeggan distillery in the Irish Midlands.

Nestled in the foothills of the Cooley Mountains, the Cooley Distillery enjoys a perfect location for a whiskey distillery due to its access to clean, pure water from the river that runs down from the mountain and right by the distillery.  Cooley at present is not open to visitors. 

Their sister distillery, the old Locke's Distillery in Kilbeggan is however open to visitors every day throughout the year.  At the old distillery you can see the warehouses that hold the maturing spirit, watch the cooperage in operation, see the oldest operational pot still in the world producing whiskey, as well as taste and buy the award winning Cooley range of Irish whiskeys. Check out our separate entry for the Kilbeggan Distillery or visit for more details.

The Cooley Distillery was named World and European Distiller of the Year at the 2008 International Wine and Spirit Competition Awards and their brands have won many other awards over the years.  For more information on the Cooley Distillery, their brands and their awards, please check out the Cooley website below.

The Cooley Distillery - Riverstown, Cooley, Co. Louth


Tel. +353 42 937 6102 Fax. +353 42 937 6484





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