A family-run distillery in Meath has become the first in Ireland to win a prestigious award for the best new make whiskey in the world.

Paddy Cooney (left), with Peter Cooney, Pat Cooney, founder, James Cooney and Sally Anne Cooney celebrate the world's Best New Make award, alongside Max the dog.

Boann is the toast of the drinks industry after scooping the global accolade in the World Whiskies Awards.

Boann’s Single Pot Still New Make, the winning spirit which impressed judges of the World Whiskies Awards.

The honour, Best New Make and Young Spirit 2021 for its single pot still ‘New Born’ spirit, comes just weeks after it won six prizes in the national category of the same awards.

“This is very exciting as no other Irish distillery has won best international new make in this competition, which is the top award when it comes to whiskey distillation,” said Boann Distillery founder, Pat Cooney.

“We have achieved this by merging the old ways of whiskey production in copper pot stills, with cutting edge, 21st-century nano-technology.

“It is an incredible achievement for our team that we have produced the best new make whiskey on the planet.”


Pat Cooney, Managing Director, Boann Distillery, celebrates the World Whiskies Awards Best New Make accolade with daughter Sally Anne Cooney.

The awards were streamed on Facebook Live on Thursday evening (March 25) from the World Whiskies Awards offices in Norfolk, England, after a record 1,000 whiskies were entered across 16 different categories.

Level 5 restrictions, however, mean a proper celebration of Boann’s achievement is on ice until later in the year.


Pat Cooney, Managing Director, Boann Distillery, at the family-run plant outside Drogheda.

Drinks trade veteran Mr Cooney said single pot still whiskey is unique to Ireland – its history traced back to the imposition of the malt tax in 1682 when Irish distillers used unmalted barley to outwit excise men.

“As a result, it was realised over time that unmalted barley gave the finished whiskey a more rounded and mellow flavour and this most distinctive style of Irish Whiskey was born. Over time, other grains were added – mostly oats, wheat and rye,” he said.

Boann employs just over 20 people at its €20million plant just outside Drogheda, with plans underway to open a new visitor centre and roll out a new gin, Silks, named after the nearby Bellewstown Races.

It adds the world prize to the six national awards it scooped in the same competition last month: Best Single Pot Still New Make 2021, Gold for its Whistler Bodega Single Malt (12 years and under), and its Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish (Blended Whiskey), also securing a Silver gong for its Single Malt Whistler PX I Love You.

It clinched two Bronze awards for the Whistler Calvados Cask Finished Blend and its Whistler Mosaic (Single Grain).

Pat Cooney, Managing Director, Boann Distillery, celebrates the World Whiskies Awards Best New Make accolade with Michael Walsh, Head Distiller.

The distillery recently started a programme of cask sales, offering the world award-winning new make spirit laid down to mature in one of 12 different cask types.

To find out more, visit www.boanndistillery.ie.

Last month, Boann unveiled a collection of long-lost Irish whiskey recipes unearthed by a historian.


Casks were produced using ingredients – or mashbills – dating back to the 1800s.

The recipes were unearthed by leading whiskey historian Fionnan O’Connor during a thesis into the lost treasure trove.