Velvet Cap Irish Whiskey by Blackwater Distillery

Blackwater Distillery revives Bonder Whiskey Brand

Peter Mulryan, Blackwater Distillery

Velvet Cap is the new whiskey by Blackwater Distillery, already renowned for its award-winning gins. Launched today, 31st May, a limited first batch release of 6,000 bottles of Velvet Cap is priced €39.95 and is available from most leading independent retailers (listed below). Purchase online from (delivery nationwide and internationally) with an option include a signed copy of ‘The Whiskeys of Ireland’ by Peter Mulryan and a free Blackwater distillery tour – for €64.95.

In late 2018, Blackwater Distillery became the first of the new breed of Irish producers to scale up and move into a new purpose-built whiskey distillery in Ballyduff Upper, Co Waterford on the banks of the Blackwater River. While their own new-make spirit matures, the team have brought a local bonder brand back to life, produced with distinctly Blackwater finesse.

Velvet Cap is a premium blend of 50% malt and 50% grain whiskies sourced from some of Ireland’s finest distilleries. The distinctive taste comes courtesy of Head Distiller John Wilcox, who was inspired by the history of the original Velvet Cap bottling from Dungarvan. In the days before bourbon casks were common in Ireland, whiskey bonders used whatever barrels they had to hand to mature their stock. In this part of the world, stout and port were favourites, so John first blended the whiskey before letting the flavours marry in seasoned casks for up to six months.

Tasting Notes:  On the nose there’s candied banana with a hint of honey, dark stone-fruit and a quiet note of almond biscuit. 

Good mouthfeel. A firm foundation of malt sets the stage with well-balanced vanilla, plum, and caramelised agave playing support. Then it’s chocolate covered banana splits all the way. The finish is of fruity esters from the tropics brightly across the palate, ending with a final nibble of After 8 mints.

Peter Mulryan, Blackwater Distillery said: “We’ve always been whiskey drinkers, not whiskey collectors. The idea behind Velvet Cap was to create a whiskey to be savoured, not stashed away on a shelf. This is a dram I want people to return to again and again.” 

The name ‘Velvet Cap’ is a reference to the headgear traditionally worn in point-to-point horse racing. This exciting sport dates back to 1752 when riders raced over fence and ditch between two points: St John’s Church, Buttevant to St Mary’s Church Doneraile in Co Cork, from one steeple to another, hence the term steeplechase. 

Velvet Cap is available now at:

The Blackrock Cellar, Dublin  

The Wine Centre, Kilkenny

Ardkeen Stores, Waterford 

Number 21 Group, Cork & Waterford

Thompsons Carry Out, Ferry Bank, Waterford 

Carry out, Tramore

The BlackRock Cellar, Dublin 

Mulligan Whiskey Shop 

James Fox, Dublin 

Drinks Store, Stoneybatter

Carry Out, Glanmire

Insta: VelvetCap

Twitter: CapVelvet

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