Our island is one of doers; we don’t just dream of ideas, but work hard to realize our goals. It’s Ireland’s southernmost inhabited island and is proudly Gaeltacht (designated Irish speaking). It’s also an island that, like all Irish offshore islands, has experienced population decline over the years due to a lack of employment opportunities. Cape Clear Island has 130 full-time residents and our school has seven students. Several years ago, some islanders got together to discuss the idea of building a distillery. One that would provide employment to islanders, that could one day provide opportunity to the children in the island’s school, and most importantly, that would one day produce some of the finest Irish whiskey available. We received planning permission for this state-of-the-art facility in 2016 and have been working toward that goal since.
Like many whiskey distilleries, the path toward producing whiskey involves starting with gin. Only we wanted a gin that could, and would continue to stand on its own. We wanted a gin that reflected our unique island’s character, and one that could be considered among the best in the world. After nearly a year of development, with involvement from the islanders and consultants from the mainland, we finalized a recipe that did just that. We began bottling 3 SQ. MILES in November of 2019.
While our gin accumulates awards, most recently a silver medal at the prestigious 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, we continue to seek investment to build our whiskey distillery.