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The story of Knappogue whiskey began in the 1960s when Irish American businessman Mark Andrews and his architect wife Lavone stumbled upon an old castle in Co Clare first built by the Clan MacNamara in 1467. They were so enamoured that they bought the structure in 1966 and set about restoring it to its former glory. Along the way, Mr Andrews set about his other interest, old Irish whiskey. He started buying casks first filled in the late 1940s and early 1950s, bottling and labelling them under the Knappogue Castle name, for the enjoyment of his friends and family.
The Knappogue Castle 1951, an historic old single pot still produced by the Daly Distillery in Tullamore before it shut its doors, was released to the public in 1998 after the couple's son, Mark III, caught the bug and founded Great Spirits, which was subsequently merged with Castle Brands in 2010. They now have a great range of single cask and small batch whiskeys, sourced from the Cooley Distillery and more recently from the Bushmills Distillery. The Celtic Whiskey Shop has also teamed up with Knappogue Castle to produce some fine single malt, single cask whiskey matured in our own barrels, one of the crowd favourites at last year's Whisky Live Dublin.