Copeland Merchants Quay 40% ABV

merchants quay whiskey

Blended Irish Whiskey

Our unique blend of three whiskeys – grain whiskey, double distilled and triple distilled malts – aged in four different casks and bottled at 40% ABV. Celebrating the historic quay at Donaghadee harbour, where ships have been launched, casks have been landed and glasses raised for generations.

Working in collaboration with Brian Watts, Master Distiller at The Great Northern Distillery, Dundalk, we have created a unique blended Irish whiskey, signalling a taste of things to come while we wait patiently for our malt and pot-still whiskeys to mature. We expect the first of these to be released in 2024.

Merchants’ Quay is a naturally coloured, non-chill filtered blend of grain and malt Irish whiskey. The grain whiskey has been matured for 12 months in a virgin American oak barrel, then transferred to a re-char bourbon cask for the remaining 24 months. The double distilled malt has been matured in an American first-fill bourbon cask and the triple distilled malt matured in an Oloroso sherry butt. The result is a smooth, rich Irish whiskey with an easy, delectable finish.

Copeland Distillery


This whiskey is a bronze-gold in colour, it has a nice thick swirl line and medium thick legs, some syrupy teardrops also hang around.


Distillery nosing tasting notes – Toffee apple, dark berries, vanilla, clove spice with hints of cedar.

My nosing tasting notes – I can certainly get the aromas the distillery put forward, but there’s more here. I get a perfume note, black cherries, a dustiness, vanilla custard, and it’s quite spicy too. There’s definitely a wood element too, I’m thinking Sandalwood, There’s a slightly meaty note also. A touch of menthol pushes forward, and black liquorice too.


Distillery palate tasting notes – Fleshy fruits, honey, oak spice and orange peel.

My palate tasting notes – Quite a nice mouthfeel, with tropical fruits, pineapple, mango and guava, and it’s quite spicy. Black coffee, hot ginger, cinnamon, the liquorice is here again, anise, and dark chocolate Orange, and wood varnish. With more time I’m finding that it sweetens up again, a touch of icing sugar now, and faint sweet lemon for me.


Distillery Finish tasting notes – Dry with toasted oak.

My finish tasting notes – The finish is long side of medium, sipping again brings the nice mouthfeel, pencil shavings, tobacco leaves, a slight earthiness, but also fruit sweetness at the same time. I’m going to add white pepper here, and there’s even a hint of salt too.

My thoughts

The fact that this blended Irish whiskey is a blend of grain whiskey, double distilled malt and triple distilled malt, from virgin oak to re-charred bourbon cask, american bourbon barrel and Oloroso sherry butt really intrigued me. I have to say that i think it’s been done rather well, and it has a good mouthfeel too, all for £32!

Would i buy a bottle

Yes i would, and might yet to be honest, it’s a great step forward by the Copeland distillery.

Notes – This whiskey is presented in it’s natural colour and is non chill filtered.

For transparency – This sample was very kindly sent to me by the Copeland distillery, this will have no bearing on my review.

Thanks to – The Copeland distillery.

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