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The Shelbourne Bar on MacCurtain Street played host last night to the official launch of Cork Whiskey Fest 2023, which will take place across the Mac Curtain St., Collins’ Barracks and St. Luke’s area from the 24th to the 26th of March.

It’s guaranteed to be a jam-packed weekend with 34 events to choose from across 3 days in 1 city (festival line up attached). The festival will offer attendees exclusive insights into unique whiskeys, some not even available to purchase in-stores. Various specialists in the whiskey world will host each event, such as Ger Garland of Irish Distillers, who guided the tasting last night and gave guests and media the opportunity to get a glimpse into what we can expect from the weekend.


Ger explained last night:

“As a local distillery we are delighted to support Cork Whiskey Fest, Over the weekend we will have a number of exciting tastings featuring the most loved Irish Whiskeys, hosted by the people that make them.”

After a quick introduction to festival organiser Laurie O’Dwyer, Ger took guests through Redbreast and Jameson Black Barrel samples, both of which have specific events held throughout the festival weekend. Once the tastings were completed, guests took away a whiskey goodie bag worth almost €100, thanks to various event sponsors.

Laurie, host of Whiskey Chats podcast and member of the Irish Defence Forces for over 20 years, developed the idea for the festival alongside his wife, Sonya. One evening in the summertime, whilst travelling back from a whiskey event, the two toyed around with the idea of having the best of each of the whiskey festivals they’d attended previously brought a little closer to home, and by the time they parked up the car, plans were already being laid. From that, Cork Whiskey Fest was born whereby the best of Irish Whiskey, from Donegal to Dingle and every stop in-between, will gather in the real capital for one weekend only.

“What makes Cork Whiskey Fest different from others of its kind, it that we want it to be open and accessible to everyone – not just whiskey experts.” Laurie explained at last night’s launch. “We’ll have the experts there from the various whiskey brands hosting events, who will guide attendees through the experience, whether you’re a whiskey aficionado, or just enjoy the occasional drop.”

A number of events have already sold out, including the opening event of the festival – The Brand Expo and Social, being held in the Metropole Hotel. Attendees will meet and greet with over 20 whiskey brands including, The Liberator, Lough Ree Distillery, Irish Distillers, Jameson Portfolio, Killowen Distillery, Kinsale Mead Co., Pearse Lyons Distillery, Dingle Distillery, Dunville’s, Rebel City Distillery, Thomond Gate, W.D. O’Connell Whiskey Merchants, Baoilleach Distillery, Boann Distillery.


For those who have missed out on tickets for their preferred event already, you can browse remaining tickets through

Website: https://corkwhiskeyfest.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/corkwhiskeyfest23/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CorkWhiskeyFest


Festival sponsored pictured with festival organisers (from left to right): Laurie O’Dwyer, (Cork Whiskey Fest) Ger Garland (Irish Distillers), Mark Lonergan (The Shelbourne Bar) Phillip Gillivan (The Shelbourne Bar) Sonya O’Dwyer (Cork Whiskey Fest)


Issue 12 Irish Whiskey Magazine

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