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The Edinburgh friends turned business partners taking Scotch whisky back to basics

27/10/2022
The three inaugural Tri Carragh whiskies launching
  • The first release of Tri Carragh’s single-cask, single-malt whisky goes on sale today
  • The brand is the passion project of two Edinburgh whisky enthusiasts with over twenty years’ combined industry experience
  • Whisky writer Charles Maclean MBE was one of the first to taste the exclusive products and put his support behind the startup

A BRAND new Scotch whisky collection which has Scottish heritage and tradition at its core launches today.

Tri Carragh is a brand of single-cask whisky which puts the fundamentals front and centre. Named after the Gaelic translation of ‘three pillars’, it celebrates and showcases whisky’s three core ingredients – water, barley and yeast – which have been used for centuries to produce Scotland’s finest spirit.

The startup has Edinburgh-based entrepreneurs Ryan McCafferty and Ola Lopatowska at the helm, who are hoping their bottles will bear all the hallmarks of a classic, quality Scotch.

The two met whilst working together at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, where they both developed a passion for the spirit and the wider industry, and soon began to toy with the idea of embarking on a business venture of their own.

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Ryan said that it felt like the natural next step in his career, which has seen him develop a keen interest in Scotch whisky: “Ola and I both gained lots of experience tasting and selecting whisky casks in our previous roles, and it became a huge ambition for us to apply this to our own bottling brand. We’re excited to be finally taking that leap.”

The three inaugural bottles to be released are a nine-year-old ex-bourbon Bunnahabhain, a 12 year-old ex-sherry Linkwood, and an exclusive 36 year-old ex-sherry Tomatin, of which there are just 30 available bottles.

Ryan said:“We keep things as natural as possible, with no colouring and no chill filtration, putting the spotlight firmly on the star of the show – the spirit itself.

“Single-cask whiskies are fascinating because, when put through their paces and then left to rest for years in an oak cask, they create a unique liquid every single time. This means our bottles are not only the product of our own considered choice, but they also contain flavour profiles and characteristics that will likely never be recreated in the same way again – they are limited edition by their very nature.”

The company started trading in January when it launched as a cask broker and project management firm for a number of other whisky brands.

Nine months later, Ryan and Ola are putting their vast knowledge to good use and hand-picking their own range of independently bottled whiskies which showcase the pair’s own tastes and preferences, well-seasoned over their combined twenty years working in the industry.

Ola said: “We’re passionate about the history and traditions that whisky has been a part of, and the stories it still creates today. There is an unrivalled way it can connect people from every walk of life, anywhere in the world.

“We understand that when it comes to whisky, it’s a personal and often subjective choice, and our bottles are especially personal to us as co-founders – they are ones we would buy and drink ourselves, and we want them to spark debate and discussion between fellow enthusiasts.

“We have selected bottles that we envisage will bring families and friends together to share their thoughts, experiences and stories over a dram, which is why we are selecting distilleries and spirits with a long heritage that we hope will ignite conversations.”

The three inaugural bottles have had the seal of approval from renowned whisky writer and industry expert Charles Maclean MBE, who produced his own tasting notes after sampling the selection. He said:  “I was impressed by these first bottlings from Tri Carragh and look forward to seeing more. Their cask selection is clearly sound!”

Tri Carragh will be on sale from Thursday 27th October and is available from the Tri Carragh website and a range of whisky retailers.

For more information, to find your nearest stockist or to place an order, please visit tricarragh.com.

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