The Managing Director and Sales Director of Nephin Whiskey, Dr. Paul Davis and Mark Quick.Mark Quick

For the first time in over a century a whiskey distillery has been established in the west of Ireland. Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny launched the company earlier in the summer.

In their mission to trace the roots of Connacht Whiskey, County Mayo’s Nephin Whiskey distillery will produce a premium peated single malt Irish whiskey to be matured and bottled in small batches.

“We’re sourcing locally, using turf smoke to dry the barley and running our own cooperage on site,” said Managing Director Dr. Paul Davis in a recent press release. “All of that is unique today, but centuries ago it would have been common in this part of the country.”

Nephin Whiskey recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to give supporters the opportunity to reserve the first bottles and cases, which will be pieces of history and future collectors' items as the first (legal) spirits produced in Connacht in over a century. They will be numbered and signed.

“We are also giving three people the chance to name one of the giant copper pot stills after themselves, a loved one, or maybe their family name,” Sales Director Mark Quick told the press release.

“We’ll put a plaque or coat of arms on the stills and it will become part of the history of the distillery that is recounted to the 40,000 visitors per year that pass through.”

Other rewards will be given as well, including Nephin branded clothing and casks, live video feeds from the distillery and local photography.

In addition, the new distillery will create 18 full time jobs and several vacant buildings in the small village of Lahardane will be renovated, including a stone granary from the 1800s.

You can view the campaign online here.