Unique Chocolate In Northern Ireland From Craft-enterprises In Mourne Mountains

A unique limited edition premium chocolate bar has been created in a collaboration between two craft enterprises located in Northern Ireland’s iconic Mourne Mountains.

The two companies behind the novel chocolate are Killowen Distillery and NearyNógs Chocolate Makers, both located near Newry in county Down.
NearyNógs is Northern Ireland’s only producer of bean to bar stoneground fine chocolate, while Killowen is a producer of Irish whiskey blends finished in rare casks sourced from across the world.

The chocolate, which is already being enjoyed in Denmark and Norway, uses whiskey matured in Solara Dark Rum by Killowen’s Master Distiller Brendan Carty for the Rum and Raisin flavour.

The premium chocolate, a 68 per cent cacao from growers in Peru’s Ucayali region, which links with the Amazon, was sourced by Shane Neary, who founded NearyNógs with wife Dorothy in 2011. They handcrafted the fine chocolate from the Peruvian beans.

Shane Neary explaining the collaboration with Killowen, says: We are both neighbours in the Mournes and had been talking about linking up to produce something quite different for some considerable time. Brendan suggested we could produce a limited edition bar using Killowen’s recently launched whiskey from the dark rum cask.

“This led me to start researching a suitable supplier of premium cacao beans from our network of contacts in South America. I settled on the Peruvian beans because of their fine and flowery flavour which I reckoned would blend perfectly with Killowen’s rum cask whiskey.

“We expect further collaborations on innovative product development in both short and long-terms,” he adds.

Brendan Carty adds: “The new whiskey chocolate is an example of the clustering between smaller producers which I am convinced is the way forward for the industry in the Mournes.

It is a demonstration of how two craft businesses can work together to create innovative products that could also help in drawing more tourists to this important and scenic part of the island,” adds Brendan

The collaboration was also influenced by Killowen’s role as a brand ambassador for the Visit Mournes Destination with Tourism Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland, a relationship which has now helped us reach out to tourism contacts in Copenhagen and Oslo.

Brendan established Killowen Small Batch Irish Distillery in 2017 to help in reviving legal distilling in the Mournes. The distillery has since developed a range of premium Irish whiskey blends as well as gin and poitin. A collaboration with Two Stacks Irish Whiskey in Newry, a business which is reviving the tradition of independent blending and bottling, has led to export sales in the US.

NearyNógs is now Northern Ireland’s most successful and widely respected producers of fine chocolate with customers in many global markets. The small batch producer recently worked with Fortnum and Mason store in London on the development of its unique zero emissions Sailboat Chocolate slab.