Sean Keane at Kilkenny People
Morgan Ging has created a bit of magic in rural Kilkenny.
The opening of the first whiskey distillery in the medieval capital of Ireland in over 200 years is one thing but restoring an almost mythical custom of a family farm distillery is another; growing its own barley to produce its own authentic Ballykeefe whiskey.
A wonderful, eco-friendly tourist attraction gives it that wow factor and yet it remains a hidden gem on the Kilkenny tourism trail.
It is located between Cuffesgrange and Kilmanagh, just off the R695 and is open to visitors.
And even though Ballykeefe whiskey will not be ready for consumption until 2020 already, it has provided a kick to the local economy.
It is producing its own gin, vodka and poitin much to the delight of educated tipplers and spirit lovers.
The fact that this man and his team have created a sustainable operation which requires no outside ingredients is a marketer’s dream and an environmentalist’s delight.
The water for the distillation process comes from an aquifer 260ft beneath the surface of the rich Ballykeefe earth, right over farm.
This crystal clear water picks up its unique flavour from the permeable rock of Ballykeefe limestone.
And this is another secret to why Ballykeefe gin, vodka and poitin are becoming so popular.
There is another result to this operation which has left Morgan Ging and his crew in a healthy state.
Ballykeefe wasn’t affected by the fodder crisis. That’s because, the Limousin and Charolais beef cattle were predominately fed the distillers grain and pot ale from the production of Ballykeefe whiskey during the poor weather of the last few months.
Ballykeefe Extra Dry Irish Gin
Twelve carefully selected botanicals are gently vapour infused through the copper pot still and then hand blended with the exceptionally pure Ballykeefe spring water, by the Award Winning Master Distiller, to create a gin of true provenance and distinctive pedigree.
Ballykeefe Artisan Irish Potato Vodka
Distilled 6 times through the bespoke copper still, then hand blended with their exceptionally pure Ballykeefe spring water, this superior vodka will both surprise and delight you in equal measures.