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Cooley distillery, Ireland

Noel Sweeney, quality assurance manager and blender, sniffs a whiskey at his office at the Cooley Distillery, in Ireland’s County Louth. Although Cooley isn’t open to the public, the distillery operates Locke’s Distillery Museum, which lies about an hour outside Dublin, a facility that is open for tours. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Gabriel O’Loughlin, a maintenance manager at Cooley, works on a pot still. According to Whisky magazine, pot stills are “stills used for batch distillation. In pot still distillation the liquid is distilled usually twice, occasionally three times, first in a wash still and then in a spirit still.” At the Cooley-run Locke’s museum, visitors find a rare example of a small pot still distillery. Locke’s shows the distillery process, from the grinding of the grain to the casking of the final product. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Noel Sweeney walks among fermentation containers at Cooley Distillery. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Liam O’Keeffe adjusts equipment at Locke’s Distillery Museum in Kilbeggan, Ireland. The distillery was established in 1757. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
John Neilly, a fourth-generation cooper, uses a reed to repair a cask at Locke’s. The cooperage there operates daily, and visitors have the chance to see cask hoops being hammered by hand. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
The warehouse at Cooley’s Distillery in County Louth is filled to the brim with whiskey aging in casks. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Whiskey, one of Ireland’s biggest draws, is neatly lined up by the bottle at Cooley Distillery. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)