About 15 km north of Athlone, near the point where the River Inny enters Lough Ree, and close to the towns of Tang, Tubberclair and the legendary Three Jolly Pigeons lies the townland of Bethlehem.
It takes it’s name from the convent founded there, almost 400 years ago, in 1631 to be precise, by the Poor Claire order. In this remote location some 60 nuns lived in silence, barefoot and were the original vegetarians, never eating meat. They only stayed there 10 years, being forced to flee for their lives across the lake in 1641 to escape the oncoming English forces from Athlone who were in search of food, and who ultimately desecrated and burned the convent.
We felt it appropriate to name our Christmas 2021 release in honour of these remarkable ladies, and were delighted then when it won a Gold Medal at the Irish Whiskey Awards 2021.
Who knows what they would have thought of us naming a Whiskey after the area they gave the name Bethlehem to? .
And yet the closest place showing on Google Maps to Bethlehem is the iconic Murrays Bar in Maghera. It’s hard to think of two things further apart than the life you imagined the nuns leading, and a Sunday nights entertainment in Murrays back in the day. If you were ever there you’ll know what we’re talking amount – the absolute best of craic. And it’s still there under new owners so drop in for some sustenance if you get a chance.
46% ABV Single Grain Distilled in Cooley
This russet coloured 11 year old Single Grain Irish Whiskey was first matured in Bourbon casks, then finished for 2 years in a very old PX Sherry butt, giving delicate but complex dried fruit and nutty flavours and a pleasant sweetness.
The Pedro Ximénez (PX) sherry butt used to finish this whiskey was part of a solera system for more than 30 years before we sourced it and is of exceptional quality, giving an intense yet delicate finish to this whiskey.
Delicate and complex sherried nose with raisins, prunes and leather.
A hint of honeyed oak to start, easing into Christmas spices with rich caramelised fruit, dates and walnuts.
Long and elegant with dark fruit and nuts and gentle oak spice.
Like all of The Bridge releases, this is a non chill-filtered whiskey with no added colour.
Gold Medal Winner at Irish Whiskey Awards 2021
Bronze Medal Winner at International Wine and Spirits Competition 2021.