Miss Whisky


(Source Miss Whisky)

“[Whisky] is a centuries old product but it’s almost new too, because every time a cask is aged, there’s something new and different that comes out of it.” – Sarah O’Donovan

“[Whisky] is a centuries old product but it’s almost new too, because every time a cask is aged, there’s something new and different that comes out of it.” – Sarah O’Donovan

Sarah O’Donovan is a bartender at the Pullman Hotel, near London’s King’s Cross. The bar features an impressive selection of whiskies, housed in a stunning glass case and it is Sarah who runs the whisky tasting events at the bar.

In this Whisky Women interview, Sarah – originally from County Clare in Ireland – discusses why she’s fallen in love with whisky, how she sees the industry changing and her plans for the future.

How did you first get into whisky?

My colleague had a great interest in whisky and he helped me to learn more. I have an innate interest in engineering and that gives me a great fascination with the construction and operation of distilleries. I love the fact you have this beautiful, soft product coming out of an engineering process. In my family, my aunt, my grandmother and her father before her have all been licence holders, they’ve all owned pubs so it’s close to my heart.

What were some of the first whiskies you tried that hooked you in?

My first taste of anything other than Jameson – because everyone drinks that in Ireland – was a Laphroaig 10 year old and it completely overwhelmed me. I left it alone for a month or so, asked more questions about whisky, learned more and realised they weren’t all going to be quite so intense as that.

Once I started seeing other finishes in whiskies – like the Glenmorangie Signet – that drew me in as it appealed more to my palate. I was surprised, then, to find I actually quite enjoyed Caol Ila 18. We also have quite a few interesting bottles from Edradour, like the Chardonnay cask matured, and I’ve really enjoyed that.

What has been a surprise to you about the whisky world?

There’s always something new to learn and I’m quite surprised at how accessible it has been to actually go about that learning. It’s so open and everyone who is involved is happy to talk to you about it if you show an interest.

From a female point of view, people can be surprised that you show an interest I find but once that initial five seconds are gone it’s an open market and you can really ask loads of questions.

What do you enjoy most about what you’re doing?

As I learn more and more about whisky, I just want to tell the world about it right now. I don’t have a fear of speaking to just about anyone who will listen so that’s what I’m doing. It’s not like I am the first person to discover whisky but I feel like it because it is so exciting. It’s a centuries old product but it’s almost new too, because every time a cask is aged, there’s something new and different that comes out of it.

What is one of your main goals?

The mental image you get of whisky is of wing-backed chairs and libraries – I’m trying to dispel that myth and make people aware there’s also more than just Scotch. It’s still incomprehensible for a lot of people that whisky comes from Japan so when you mention Tasmania or something, it’s quite a surprise.

I find that as long as you get someone who’s willing to speak to you then being able to tell them the stories behind the bottles and the stories of the industry can really hook them in, can make you hold someone’s attention. I like the story of Wild Geese, for instance. It’s an Irish blend and is named after the fact that when James I came to conquer Ireland, the noble family he conquered – the Sarsfields – fled to France. But they believed they’d return so they were named the wild geese. They didn’t come back in the end but the whisky is named in honour of every Irishman who’s had to leave his country.

It’s great to see you so passionate about the industry. How do you envision the industry moving forward?

Whisky companies are definitely moving forward and realising people are becoming more discerning, at ever younger ages. People might say something like, ‘Oh it’s an 18 year old so it must be better than the 12 year old.’ I try to explain it doesn’t mean that but the main point is the questions are being asked.

Also, I think as you see more young women and men coming into the industry and starting to drink it, the proliferation of whisky will spread more. There’s still a bit of a notion that ‘when you grow up you’ll enjoy it’ but actually that’s where things like blends and cocktails are coming in. And the more bars there are that are serving these, the better.

[Competition] Win 3 Bottles of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 14.23.20(Source http://www.bringabottle.co.uk)

Bring a Bottle is the UK’s newest free price comparison website for buying wines, beers and spirits. Just search for what you’re looking for to find the cheapest supplier of your favourite tipple and prepare to save yourself some money.Bring a Bottle works with leading online retailers: Waitrose, Asda, Tesco, Majestic Wines, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons plus online suppliers to hunt down the best deals for you.

The Wild Geese Collection have given Bring a Bottle 3 bottles from their range, Classic Blend, Rare Irish and a Limited Edition Whiskies to give away to one lucky winner.

About The Wild Geese Whiskey

The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Collection tells the story of ‘The Wild Geese’, brave soldiers who left Ireland in 1691. Wherever they travelled they showed great courage, a sense of adventure and commitment to freedom for everyone. The Wild Geese collection celebrates extraordinary individuals who share these traits.

The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Collection, made from stocks of superb quality aged Irish Whiskey, is produced using a special extended double distillation process and then aged in American Bourbon barrels giving the finished Whiskey a smooth and distinct taste.

The Wild Geese is truely a superior Whiskey and has been voted ‘Best Irish Whiskey’ three times.

The range is available to buy through Bring a Bottle.



Whisky Cast feature a cocktail made with The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey



(Source Whisky Cast)

With a certain international football tournament (the name of which is trademarked and heavily enforced), underway in Brazil, the folks at The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey have created a special cocktail featuring their Irish whiskey with a South American flair.

2 parts The Wild Geese Classic Blend WhiskeyGoldCupcocktail
1/2 part lime juice
1/2 part coconut cream
1/2 part sugar syrup
Basil leaves

1/2 part of blue curaçao
1 passion fruit shell

Blend a small handful of basil leaves, coconut cream and lime juice together until you have a liquid form. Pour into a cocktail shaker with sugar syrup and The Wild Geese Classic Blend Irish whiskey, then shake hard with ice. Serve in a rocks glass over crushed ice and add a passion fruit shell. Fill the shell with blue curaçao and garnish with the zest of a lemon. Add your nation’s flag to celebrate your team for the final, champion touch.

The Wild Geese Gold Cup Cocktail featured in The Mail Online


(Source Mail Online)

So football madness has swept the nation; wall charts are tacked up in living rooms, office sweepstakes have been drawn (go Ghana!) and bunting is draped across pubs and HGVs.

All there is to do now is sit back with a cold drink and enjoy.

Whether you want something to sip during the game, a stiff one to help block out the score, or something fruity to transport your mind to the warm breeze of the Brazilian coast, our friends at online magazine About Time have a timely tipple for you.


What: A vibrant fruity punch with the refreshingly exotic flavours of Brazil; the closet thing to sipping a coconut on Copacabana Beach.

Ingredients (makes enough for a mini crowd):

● 150ml The Wild Geese Classic Blend Whiskey

● Handful of Basil

● 50ml Coconut Cream

● 50ml Lime Juice

● 50ml Sugar Syrup

What to do: Blend a handful of basil leaves with the coconut cream and lime juice. Pour into a punch bowl and stir in the sugar syrup, whiskey and plenty of ice.

To serve: Pour into glasses, add crushed ice, float the shell of the passion fruit shell on top and fill the shell with blue curacao. Finish off with lemon zest.


The Wild Geese whiskey has teamed up with Shoreditch’s Nightjar to create a menu of bespoke summer cocktails.

(Source magnate)

Nightjar’s Marian Beke worked with the Irish whiskey makers to create an exclusive range perfect for cocktail season, including a twist on the classic swizzle cocktail, with a hint of spice.

Beke and Wild Geese have shared the recipes for these three summer coolers, alongside video tutorials, so you can try them at home.


2 parts The Wild Geese Classic Blend Irish Whiskey

1 part apple and rhubarb juice

3 parts dry cider

1/2 part Kamms & Sons

Method: Mix the Classic Blend, dry cider and apple & rhubarb juice by ‘rolling’ them in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a highball glass and float a large ice ball on top. Add the Kamms & Sons to create a bittersweet taste and garnish with a crab apple and apple blossom. Drizzle fresh caramel over the garnish for the final touch.


2 part The Wild Geese Classic Blend Irish Whiskey

1 part gin botanical syrup or 1/2 part gin & 1/2 sugar syrup

Dash of green tea bitters

Lemon balm

Top up with homemade lemongrass and chili beer

Method: Pour a full measure of The Wild Geese Classic Blend directly into the serving glass. Add gin syrup as a sweetener and a dash of green tea bitter. Add lemon balm leaves to compliment the citrus notes in the Classic Blend. Top up with lemongrass & chilli beer and ‘swizzle’ the ingredients to mix them. Serve with pinewood and sweet spice.


2 part The Wild Geese Rare Irish Whiskey

1/2 part maple/ honey syrup

2 parts fresh squeezed ugly fruit juice

Few dashes of bitter

Matcha tea foam

Method: Shake and serve in martini glass, top it off with matcha tea foam.

Wild Geese Celebrate Irish Fortitude At Enterprise Awards


As sponsors of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Awards we celebrated Irish fortitude and the extraordinary hard work of entrepreneurs in Donegal who are forging their own paths in business.

Despite tough economic times, hundreds of independent business have been set up with the help of the Back To Work Enterprise Scheme, from the Donegal Local Development Company. At The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Awards we celebrated 12 of this unique businesses and awarded four entrepreneurs with prizes to help grow their companies.

Each candidate reminded us of Patrick Sarsfield and his followers, who left Ireland in 1691. They showed great courage and determination and worked hard to be successful abroad in their host communities. However, they kept Ireland in their hearts and took the name ‘The Wild Geese’ in the hope and belief that they would one day return home.

Today, honouring ambitious and hard working individuals continues The Wild Geese story which is now synonymous with Irish fortitude. All of the candidates continue to show the same great courage and determination displayed by The Wild Geese in 1691.

The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Award winners

Iain Miller – Unique Ascent Outdoor Adventure Company
Approved under the Back To Work Enterprise Allowance scheme in 2011, the last three years have been busy for Iain, a qualified mountain instructor. He has created ten part-time jobs and has plans to create up to twenty jobs, taking people to explore donegal’s most beautiful, remote and wild places. He has developed the ‘Donegal Climbing App’ and 17 online guides.

Iain thanked the DLDC and The Wild Geese for the recognition adding, ‘Without the support of the Back To Work Scheme I would never have been able to become self employed in the services I provide in this current climate. In the past year I have taken over 150 national and international to a shade over 100 summits’

Check out some of Iain’s extraordinary work in the video below:

To find out more about Unique Ascent visit http://www.uniqueascent.ie/

John Paul Boyle and Kevin Boyle – uPilot Teoranta: Flight Simulator 
Rural Donegal is not where you expect to find a company making flight simulators using cutting-edge technology, but that’s exactly what John Paul and Kevin are doing. At the moment they’re developing a Boeing 727-800 series simulator. They’ve won a six-month contract for a simulator at Dublin Airport, and hope that trial will secure a three year deal.

To find our more visit upilot.ie.

Diarmaid Whoriskey – Rathmore Mechanical Services
Diarmaid and his business partner TJ set up under the Back To Work scheme after being made redundant in 2009. They offer heating, plumbing, ventilation, air-conditioning and ironworks services and they’ve been busy, despite the recession, employing between six and twelve people. Diarmaid has secured major contracts throughout Ireland. Las month they secured their biggest contract so far.

Diarmaid said:
‘On behalf of Rathmore Mechanical Services Ltd we would like to thank The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey for sponsoring the enterprise awards 2014 in conjunction with Donegal Local development Company. It was an honour to receive both these awards which recognise small local businesses in the current climate’

Iain, John Paul, Kevin and Diarmaid will go through to the regional awards in Cavan in June and each received €500 to help grow their business.

But the calibre of each of the candidates was extremely high and to honour this we created a fourth award for Outstanding Achievement, presented to Diane Harvey from D’s School of Motoring and Training.

Diane set up her business under the Back To Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme in 2010 and offers a wide range of training for customers, from those preparing for the ‘Theory Test’ to those with disabilities such as brain injury and now the jeep and trailer lessons. She has a commitment to road safety and has helped organise a number of safety awareness events. For the past two years she has won the ‘National Road Safety Authority (NRA) Leading Lights Award’ for approved driving instructors.

High Quality Competition For The Coveted Wild Geese Awards

Coverage from the Donegal Democrat ahead of tonight’s The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Awards.

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The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Awards: Winners Selected

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The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Awards Adjudication Committee: from left, Mark Murran and Mary McHugh, Department of Social Protection; Jim Slevin, chairperson of Donegal Local Development Company; Louise Brogan, DLDC enterprise co-ordinator; Mr Andre Levy, chairman of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey company

Our Chairman, Mr Andre Levy, sat on the adjudication committee to select the winners of this year’s The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Awards, which celebrate entrepreneurs in the Donegal area who are forging their own paths in business.

Twelve businesses have been shortlisted for the awards which are for small enterprises set up under the Back To Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme run by Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC). Three winners will be presented with awards, £500 to help grow their businesses and will go through to the regional awards in Cavan in June.

On the adjudication committee were Mr Andre Levy; Jim Slevin, Chairperson of the DLDC; Mark Murray and Mary McHugh from the Department of Social Protection. Mr Levy said:

‘There are some remarkable individuals involved who’ve already had significant success and in some cases have already won awards for their business.
‘We all know that the business environment has been very challenging in recent years and I’m delighted The Wild Geese company is able to help celebrate this level of achievement in Donegal’