Clonakilty Distillery Logo

Clonakilty Distillery

  • Ireland
  • World Whiskies Awards, World Vodka Awards, Global Drinks Intel ESG Awards 2023
Phone Number
  • +353 23 887 8020
  • The Waterfront, Youghals, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, P85 N403, Ireland

Clonakilty Distillery exterior at dusk.

About Clonakilty Distillery


Nestled along the rugged coastline of Clonakilty, the Clonakilty Distillery stands as a testament to the art of Irish whiskey-making. With a commitment to tradition and quality, the distillery harnesses the unique essence of its environment to craft spirits that are as distinctive as they are delightful. 

Utilizing a trio of specially designed copper pot stills, Clonakilty Distillery transforms pure water into rich, flavorful whiskey with a no-fuss philosophy that reflects their passion for simplicity and excellence.

The selection of casks from around the world—including ex-Bourbon, Port, Sherry, Cognac, Rum, and red wine—contributes to the complex character of their whiskeys, which are matured and finished in their Atlantic Ocean warehouse. 

This coastal maturation process, influenced by the salt-laden air, imparts a unique flavor profile to their spirits, celebrated as the “angel’s share” by the fortunate few who taste it.

Clonakilty’s blending process, which incorporates water from their own deep well, is a gentle two-week ritual that ensures the smoothness of their whiskey, setting them apart in the world of Irish spirits.



Awards Won by Clonakilty Distillery

Clonakilty Distillery has garnered several awards that highlight the excellence of their spirits and their commitment to sustainable practices. Some of their notable recognitions include:

  • World Whiskies Awards: They achieved Triple Gold for the Best New Make & Young Spirit, where the judges noted the spirit’s complexity and unique tasting notes​​. Furthermore, they’ve won gold medals for the Best Irish Single Malt (12 Years and Under) and Best Irish Single Cask Single Malt (21 Years & Over)​​.
  • World Vodka Awards: The distillery’s Minke Vodka was named Best Irish Varietal Vodka, adding to their range of acclaimed spirits​​.
  • Global Drinks Intel ESG Awards 2023: Recognized for their sustainability efforts, Clonakilty Distillery clinched several awards at this event, affirming their position as a leading environmentally conscious drinks company​​.
  • Icons of Whisky Awards 2021: They received two Highly Commended Awards, marking their impact as an Irish Craft Producer for two consecutive years​​.

Clonakilty Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The Clonakilty Distillery Tour offers a comprehensive, multi-sensory experience for visitors interested in the craft of Irish whiskey, gin, and vodka production. 

The tour begins in the Story Room & Cinema, where guests can delve into the history of Clonakilty as a brewery town, learn about the founders, and understand the role of the family farm that supplies the distillery with its raw materials. 

The cinema experience includes a virtual journey to the Galley Head Lighthouse, showcasing the enchanting coastline where the distillery’s story starts.

As the tour progresses, visitors are taken through the entire production process of their Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey, starting from the milling of grains to the final distillation. 

The tour provides an in-depth look at each stage, including mashing, fermenting, and the precise art of distilling. Additionally, guests can see the white spirits still where Clonakilty’s Minke Gin and Minke Vodka are produced, highlighting the distillery’s “grass to glass” philosophy.

The Clonakilty Distillery Tour is not just an educational journey through the mechanics of distillation but also an engaging story of family, tradition, and the influence of a unique natural environment on the creation of spirits.

Visitors leave with a richer appreciation of the craftsmanship involved in producing Clonakilty’s award-winning beverages.

Flask & Barrel Review of Clonakilty Distillery

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Clonakilty Distillery, and let me tell you, it was nearly perfect. As a whiskey collector, I’ve been on my fair share of distillery tours, but Clonakilty’s stood out for its charm and depth. 

The Story Room was a treat — it’s not every day you get to kick off a tour with a cinematic flyover of the stunning Irish coastline. Learning about the distillery’s roots and the family behind it added a personal touch that you don’t always get.

The hands-on display of the whiskey-making process was top-notch. From milling to mashing to fermenting, and finally to distilling, it was clear that these folks took their whiskey seriously.

And it’s not just whiskey; their Minke Gin and Vodka are crafted with the same attention to detail. The “grass to glass” philosophy shone through in the quality of the spirits.

The guide was knowledgeable and approachable, answering all my nerdy questions with patience which I appreciated. The tasting session was the highlight, of course.

Each sip was a revelation, especially the single-pot still whiskey, which had a complexity that spoke to the unique coastal ageing process.

If I had to nitpick, I’d say the tour felt a tad rushed. I could’ve spent all day there, diving even deeper into the nuances of their craft. Also, while the shop had a great selection, I was hoping for some limited-edition bottles.

All in all, I’d give Clonakilty Distillery a solid 4.7 out of 5. It’s a must-visit for any spirit enthusiast looking for an authentic Irish whiskey experience. Can’t wait to add a bottle of Clonakilty to my collection and to come back to see what else they’ve got brewing.

What To Do Nearby Clonakilty Distillery

Clonakilty, a vibrant town in West Cork, Ireland, offers a range of activities and scenic spots:


Inchydoney Island is known for its beautiful Blue Flag beach suitable for families and surfing enthusiasts. Long Strand, a short drive away, welcomes visitors with its extensive sandy beach perfect for a long walk or a surf session. 

Nearby, Red Strand provides a quiet spot with rock pools, and The Warren at Rosscarbery offers safe swimming and an 18-hole pitch-and-putt course. 

Owenahincha Beach is popular with families and is a stone’s throw from scenic woods and the charming village of Rathbarry.

Heritage and Culture

The town’s deep connection with historical figure Michael Collins is showcased at the Michael Collins Heritage Centre and Michael Collins House, where visitors can learn about his impact on Irish history.

Outdoor Activities

Golfers can enjoy the Clonakilty Golf Club, which is known for its picturesque and challenging course. Wildlife enthusiasts can take boat tours with Atlantic Whale and Wildlife Tours to observe marine wildlife.

Live Music and Entertainment

DeBarras Folk Club is famous for its live Irish music sessions and history of hosting notable international musicians.

Model Village and Railway

The West Cork Model Railway Village features a scaled model of the historic railway and interactive exhibits, making it a fun trip for all ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Clonakilty Distillery?

Indulge Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +353238858622. Their address is 1 Connolly Street, Youghals, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, P85 PX56, Ireland. 

Daily Dose Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +353238835635. Their address is 58 Pearse St, Tawnies Upper, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, P85 XK49, Ireland. 

Casey’s Bar and Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +353238836562. Their address is 31 Pearse St, Tawnies Upper, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, P85 T668, Ireland. 

What hotels are near Clonakilty Distillery?

Clonakilty Park Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +353238836400. Their address is Park Road, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, P85 RD23, Ireland. 

Emmet Hotel – Clonakilty: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +353238833394. Their address is 2/3 Emmet Square, Youghals, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, P85 PC89, Ireland. 

Fernhill House Hotel & Gardens: It has a rating of 4.8 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +353238833258. Their address is Fernhill House, Tawnies Lower, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, P85 X322, Ireland.