Bethlehem wins inaugural Golden Goat award

We were thrilled to win the inaugural Golden Goat award as Skerries Whiskey Chasers Whiskey of the Year for 2022.

Here’s what Gary Quinn, founder of Skerries Whiskey Chasers had to say :

“Skerries Whiskey Chasers tasted 51 whiskies in 2022 – all the greats of Irish whiskey and a few Americans – before selecting Lough Ree’s The Bridge Bethlehem as our favourite of the year. We’re a group of whiskey fans on a massive learning curve and we were delighted that after a year of tasting in our HQ, the Snug Bar in Skerries, we picked a superbly-finished single cask grain whiskey as the champion.

We tasted it again in the final in December against four other finalists, Heaven’s Door Straight Rye, Method & Madness Single Malt, Writer’s Tears Japanese Cask Finish and Dingle Batch 6. It was a terrific tasting but Lough Ree powered through. The PX sherry butt that it was finished in delivered a really complex and elegant flavour profile and an incredible colour, nose and finish that pushed it over the line.

The SWC Whiskey of the Year award, the Golden Goat, will be a perpetual trophy, building a line-up of champions that we believe will stand the test of time. We also want it to be a symbol of recognition of thanks from real whiskey drinkers.

We chose a golden goat as our symbol, an animal forever tied to our north Co Dublin town. Allegedly, St Patrick left his own goat in the town when he ventured to the Skerries islands. When he returned, the people of Skerries had gone to the trouble of eating his goat. In retribution, he changed their voices to that of the bleating of this hardy animal.

Each year we’ll choose one whiskey as our favourite and send the Golden Goat to that distillery. Then at the end of the year we’ll head out to bring the goat home to Skerries and do it all again. Mike Clancy of Lough Ree came to Skerries to bring the award back to Longford for the year. It was a terrific occasion, bringing us deep into the DNA of this young and ambitious family business. The tasting revealed the breadth of the distillery’s sourced bottlings as well as giving us a glimpse of what’s ahead for Lough Ree as they pour their own distillate into cask. A worthy first winner of the Skerries Whiskey Chasers Whiskey of the Year Award.

Gary Quinn, Founder, Skerries Whiskey Chasers,

Skerries, Co Dublin 21st February 2023.”