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Based on the shores of Lough Leane in Killarney, on land that’s been in our family for 900 years, Wayward Irish Spirits make distinctive modern Irish Whiskeys influenced by our heritage and our setting. The O’Connell family has a rich history, supplying spirits into Kerry since 1450 (including two centuries of smuggling), and with forebears including poets, decorated soldiers, adventurous entrepreneurs and The Liberator himself, Daniel O’Connell. Our company name comes from the British PM Robert Peel’s description of Dan as ‘that wayward Irishman’.
Maurice O’Connell started the company in 2017 and in early 2020 we launched the first in our range of The Liberator Irish Whiskey®. We commission young spirits from the best Irish distilleries and mature, finish, blend and bottle them here on the Lakeview Estate. Careful selection of casks connecting with our family history and skilful small batch blending combines to make unique Whiskeys that are more than the sum of their parts. Our first releases led the wave of Port finished Whiskeys and reintroduced Vatted Malts to the Irish market, highlighting the contribution and creativity that Independent Bottlers/Bonders can add.
‘The House of Contentment’, our maturation Storehouse, is a restored 300-year-old stone farm building which, in the special Gulf Stream, lake & mountain influenced Lakeview microclimate, provides a unique Whiskey aging environment. We can’t (yet) claim it’s better - but it’s certainly different. Most of our production processes are in-house and done by hand which gives us the freedom and time to craft individual quality Whiskeys. We cut to bottling strength over 5-6 weeks so as not to stress our Whiskey; we blend & bottle here when it is ready, not to someone else’s schedule; to keep things as natural as possible we don’t add colour and we don’t chill filter.
Very unusually for an Irish Whiskey maker, we also grow our own Barley here on the Estate. This is distilled for us into what will become the first Lakeview Single Estate Whiskey. We laid down our first casks in 2019 and are excited to be releasing a small amount in March 2022. Our own distillery will follow in 2024.
Our company’s activities support the sustainability and enhancement of the historic listed Lakeview Estate for future generations. We have always provided local employment outside the limited tourist season and this will increase significantly. We are privileged to be custodians of such a rich & beautiful natural environment adjoining the Killarney National Park UNESCO
Biosphere Reserve. We nurture our land and woodlands to promote biodiversity, adding trees and pollinator friendly plants and encouraging our rare red squirrel and bat populations.
The SuperValu Food Academy programme has offered us great training and support as we prepare to launch in-store. Our sustainability program limits our use of plastics to the minimum and we’re imaginative on re-using and re-purposing.