Kinsale Spirit Company launch ‘Red Earl Whiskey’ as part of their ‘Battle of Kinsale’ series

13 July 2020
By Tom Collins

The first in Kinsale Spirit Company’s ‘Battle of Kinsale’ series of Whiskeys

Photographer credit: 528 Creative
Photographer credit: 528 Creative

Red Earl premium Irish Whiskey has been launched by Cork’s Kinsale Spirit Company – co-founded by Ernest Cantillon, Colin Ross, and Tom O’Riordan – all current or ex-publicans who have spent their lifetimes serving drink and building extensive experience in the hospitality and beverage sectors.

Other drinks in their portfolio include the popular small-batch, premium Kinsale Gin. Red Earl is the first of the company’s ‘Battle of Kinsale’ series of whiskeys. The company is currently building a new distillery in Kinsale, Co. Cork, due to open in 2021, so we can expect much more to come from this Cork company.

Following the fight for freedom from the Crown at The Battle of Kinsale, 1601, seeking aid from allies in Spain, Red Hugh O’Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell, was murdered by an Anglo-Irish double agent and buried near Rioja. Red Earl Irish Whiskey, a tribute to his story, is first aged in bourbon, then sherry, and finally matured in Rioja casks. Triple-casking delivers roundness of flavour, lengthy finish, and an exceptional aroma.

Red Earl displays vibrant fruity notes on both the nose and palate. Aroma wise, expect subtle hints of cherry, strawberry, rose petal, and citrus, layered on top of marzipan, almond and oak notes. The taste delivers satisfying blends of caramel, vanilla and toasted almonds, complimented by delightful notes of cinnamon and clove, typical of spicy riojas.

This impeccable premium Irish whiskey has a medium-bodied mouthfeel that ends in a long, warm, and moreish finish. It’s distinctive in that it is one of the first Irish whiskeys to use Rioja casks in the maturing process, which gives the liquid a wonderful colour, reminiscent of a fine Rose wine, and its unique taste profile.

Vivacious and passionate, Red Earl is to be enjoyed and savoured with good Irish “craic”, on its own, or with ice, or perhaps as part of a spritzer.

Speaking about his new venture, publican and entrepreneur Ernest Cantillon said “We were nervous about launching a new product during such an uncertain period, but to be honest it has hit the ground running. Local support has been phenomenal, and we have our first export order, several thousand bottles, heading to China next week.”

Red Earl Whiskey is available to purchase at Bradley’s, North Main Street, Cork City Centre, 1601 in Kinsale, Co Cork,,, and via their own website, with new outlets being added as agreements are put in place.

Red Earl premium Irish Whiskey is launched by Cork’s Kinsale Spirit Company – co-founded by Colin Ross, Tom O’Riordan, and Ernest Cantillon – all current or ex-publicans. Photographer credit: 528 Creative

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