When is a Bucket Not a Bucket? When Its Used to Measure Whiskey for Tax….

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Appealing to the Whiskey Gods for Mercy 

I’m sitting at a desk writing this, when in reality I am supposed to be in a warehouse pulling casks for scaling up our first blend. There is a slight delay on that. When you revive a way of whiskey making that died out last century, you run into a lot of problems. I’m a whiskey bonder, right now I buy in mature stocks of whiskey and I blend them together to create something unique. I also mature new fill on my farm in the hope that our microclimate will result in a unique spirit. I’m obsessed with the unique bit. That means taking the limited stocks of mature whiskey we currently have which are from at the moment two distilleries and figuring out a way to differentiate our end product from everything else out there, who are also using the same stock. I want to do some crazy fun stuff but our first product THE GAEL is a blended Irish Whiskey, but one for real Irish Whiskey Lovers and it needs to deliver, or this entire endeavour is a failure.

The way to ensure our whiskey delivers is to forensically & sensorily analyse all of our  casks, get to know each and every one, through tasting and nosing. Then to create a blend, differentiated to the others  out there but one that can stand up in terms of quality and more-ishness to any of the best. We’ve done that and are ready to scale up the blend and make our first batch. I’ve got my empty bottles, I’ve got my labels, I’ve got my corks, my boxes and some customers and most importantly I’ve got  my blend. Now is the time to begin disgorgement of casks.

This is where I’ve run into a problem. My first run is 7500 bottles, only because that’s all I can make of this particular batch, I’m going to run out of some particular flavour profile casks so I’ll need to call the next one Batch 2. My blend calls for ‘Partial’ disgorgement of casks. So like I’ll be pulling 40 litres from a 26 year Cask A. and 50 Litres from 26 year old Cask B.  225 Liter cask for example (that’s not accurate but you get me). Here is the issue. Back in the day when JJ CORRY would have done this, he simply reported to the Revenue commission by ‘Proof Gallon’ measurements. Like he had an actual Bucket which was officially a Proof Gallon and he recorded every Proof Gallon or Quarter Proof Gallon he extracted from the cask to the Revenue so he could pay the tax on it and that was that.

Because Bonding died out in Ireland that practice died with it. Today, most people just disgorge 10 of X cask and 200 of Y cask and 400 of Z cask, the whole cask goes into the blend and there are weights and measures in place for that.  In Ireland there are currently no approved ‘BUCKETS’  for measuring partial disgorgement anymore, per-se. So, we have to invent them and we have to have them approved by the Revenue and THEN we can do our blend. Again its just a formality and one which I kind of relish, it makes me feel as if we are REALLY bringing something back from the dead. We are having to re-invent lost equipment.


No I Don’t Look Thrilled I know, neither Would you if you had to Invent a Bucket

So I’m not in a warehouse pulling casks right now….What I am doing (amongst way too other many things)  is trying to drum up votes for the #NissanGenNext competition, I’ve been shortlisted for. Nissan picked me and 20 others out of about 1000 to compete for the chance to be a Nissan Ambassador, if we win, they will lend me a vehicle for the business for a year. I could really do with this, I’ve written in the past about my piece of crap car…We are about to on-board our brand ambassador and she’ll need to start visiting accounts with something other than a 15 year rust bucket. I need the public vote to get over the line on this, so if you have a few seconds to spare, give me your vote please! You can vote daily…a lot to ask…but even if you vote once much appreciated. Vote HERE 

Once I do get that blend sorted, all that whiskey is not going to deliver itself…..#NeedThatNissan

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