Boulder, CO — Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, a Colorado company with deep Irish roots announces Hard Chaw Strong Irish Whiskey Cream (hardchawstrong.com), the first and only Irish cream on the market with a bold percentage of alcohol.
The dairy in traditional Irish creams curdles when alcohol rises beyond 17 percent ABV. As a result, they are low-alcohol beverages. But after more than seven years of research and development, Hard Chaw created a 50-proof Irish cream, which is 50 percent more alcohol than all other brands.
“Finally, people who savor Irish cream’s beautiful flavor no longer will need to fortify their glass with a shot of whiskey,” said Hard Chaw founder Colm O’Neill, a native of Ireland’s County Cork. “It’s about time that one of Ireland’s many gifts to the world now matches the strength and vigor of the people who created it. We named our spirit in their honor.”
In Ireland, hard chaws are tough cookies, people full of grit and resilience who never back down.
O’Neill, a former professional Gaelic football star, is a bit of a hard chaw. If not for his persistence, Hard Chaw would not today grace bars and liquor store shelves.
It all started with a cocktail, one with a terrible name.
As a longtime owner of Irish pubs in the United States, O’Neill sold oceans of the “Car Bomb” cocktail, which involves both Irish cream and Irish whiskey. He wondered why the bottle of Irish cream alone was never enough — it always needed the shot of whiskey. That’s when he learned about the technical problem of bottling dairy and alcohol, and began his multi-year quest to craft a solution.
Two spirits give Hard Chaw its unique vigor: Irish whiskey and poitin, also known as “Irish moonshine.” No other Irish cream takes advantage of poitin, a treasure little known beyond the island. From the beginning O’Neill sought to include it, along with Irish whiskey, in Hard Chaw’s formula.
Monks in Ireland began crafting poitin in the 6th century, and for hundreds of years it was a staple made on farms across the country. In 1661, however, government officials outlawed poitin. They heavily taxed alcohol, but as a spirit normally made in rural barns, poitin escaped the purview of the taxers.
In 1997 Irish officials lifted the ban. And now, distillers across the island are launching brands of artisan poitin.
“We are eager to introduce the ultimate hard chaw spirit, poitin, to more and more people,” said O’Neill. “Poitin is Irish history, in a bottle. We love it, and felt it simply had to be in the world’s first strong Irish cream.”
About Hard Chaw Strong Irish Whiskey Cream
Hard Chaw Strong Irish Cream is the world’s first with a robust alcohol profile, offering 50 percent more alcohol than traditional Irish creams. Where others never surpass 17 percent ABV, a low percentage found in wine and even some beers, Hard Chaw offers 50-proof Irish cream. In addition, it is the only Irish cream in the world that includes poitin, which has been distilled on the island since the 6th century.
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