Walsh Whiskey Distillery has released its 2017 vintage of The Irishman Cask Strength at TFWA in Cannes where the company’s new Commercial Director, John Kelly is representing Walsh Whiskey for the first time with Global Sales Manager, Shane Fitzharris. The release is very limited with 3,510 bottles available in select global markets and travel retail.
Launching The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 vintage, John Kelly said: “We have chosen to release one of our expressions at TFWA for the first time ever. This is because Travel Retail is now one of our priority markets as Walsh Whiskey Distillery gears up for 2019 and beyond when we will have greater supplies of our whiskeys, The Irishman and Writers’ Tears, than ever before. 2018 will see us stepping up our TR activity and extending our TR footprint internationally, so TFWA and a super premium whiskey release such as The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 vintage is perfectly timed for us to start getting that message across personally to the TR sector.”
The Irishman Cask Strength 2017
A rare cask strength expression (54% ABV), limited to only 3,510 bottles, each of which is uniquely numbered and signed by Walsh Whiskey founder Bernard Walsh. The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 is a vatting of Single Pot Still & Single Malt, matured in first-fill bourbon casks. Non chill-filtered, it was bottled in August 2017 and is presented in an elegant wood cask.
Describing this year’s cask strength release of The Irishman, Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s, Senior Global Sales Manager, Shane Fitzharris said: “This rare cask strength expression is matured and aged in oak bourbon casks, specially selected to showcase the pinnacle of Irish whiskey.
This rare and exclusive release introduces complex notes of woody spices combining with summer fruits. Subtle hints of toasted almonds and bourbon oak are followed by elegant tones of dried fruit and raisins delivering an intense finish bursting with depth and flavour. I hope the lucky few who acquire this release enjoy every moment.”
The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 is available in select global markets and travel retail.
The RRP is €125.
Walsh Whiskey Distillery has released two, new, very limited edition, super-premium expressions from The Irishman range. Both were finished in handpicked Marsala wine ‘hogshead’ casks from the Florio winery in Sicily which is owned by Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s strategic partner Illva Saronno.
Hogshead casks are larger than standard whiskey casks, however with evaporation accounting for the ‘Angel’s Share’, just 2,970 bottles of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve Florio Marsala Cask Finish were filled in mid-August after a minimum of 12 months finishing in the hogshead casks. The nine casks will be spread across seven markets: Ireland, Italy, France, Holland, Switzerland, Travel Retail and Germany. This triple-distilled, non chill filtered whiskey has an ABV of 46%, which is 6% ABV stronger than The Irishman Founder’s Reserve.
Just a single hogshead cask was filled with The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt resulting in 320 bottles of this expression which will be exclusively available at the Walsh Whiskey Distillery in Royal Oak, Carlow, Ireland. Also triple-distilled and non chill filtered, The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt – Florio Marsala Cask Finish is a Cask Strength whiskey with an ABV of 56%.
The creation of these whiskeys began in 2015 when Bernard Walsh went to the Florio winery in the town of Marsala in Sicily as part of his international research into new cask finishes for his portfolio of whiskeys which has also seen him visit Spain, France, Portugal, St. Lucia, China, Kentucky and other parts of Italy. During a tasting of the famously sweet Marsala wines in the Florio cellars, he became convinced of the potential for an exciting expression to result from finishing his signature whiskey, The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, in Marsala wine casks.
Following the tasting, Bernard personally selected the 10 hogshead casks for return to Ireland for filling with The Irishman Founder’s Reserve. He made a last minute decision to add one more twist to the innovation by assigning one of the hogshead casks to be filled with The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt for a minimum 12 months’ finish.
Commenting on the successful outcome of the project, Bernard Walsh said: “I have always loved sweet tasting wines, so I was drawn to the Marsala from the outset, but I didn’t want it to overpower The Irishman expressions either. I am delighted that we have achieved two beautifully balanced whiskeys which we are proud to make the ninth and tenth expressions in our portfolio.”
Walsh Whiskey Distillery is flying high after Lufthansa, one of the world’s leading airlines, has selected its super-premium whiskey The Irishman – 12 Year Old Single Malt for its exclusive First Class Lounge spirits portfolio.
The Irishman – 12 Year Old Single Malt, an exquisite, non-chill filtered Irish whiskey, is now recognised as an official supplier of Lufthansa First Class Lounges throughout Germany. Close to 500,000 passengers and guests frequent the Lufthansa First Class Lounges annually and they will now be able to enjoy this outstanding Irish whiskey, which is distilled from 100% malted barley and aged in first-fill bourbon barrels.
Awarded Gold and ‘Best In Class’ at the 2013 International Spirits Challenge held in London, The Irishman – 12 Year Old Single Malt is a whiskey that shows exceptional interaction between spirit and wood. With an incredible aroma, the influences of first fill bourbon casks give a spicy note with vanilla and cinnamon, and a beautiful burst of flavour with ripe citrus fruit and honey, culminating in a wonderfully smooth finish.
Commenting on the exclusive Lufthansa listing, Walsh Whiskey Distillery Managing Director, Bernard Walsh, said: “The selection of The Irishman – 12 Year Old Single Malt by Lufthansa for its First Class Lounges is reflective of the high standards of our respective businesses. We are delighted that all Lufthansa First Class Lounge passengers now have the opportunity to savour this exceptional expression as they relax on their journey”.
This St Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2017, sees Walsh Whiskey and UK Importer Emporia Brands come together for the UK’s first ever cocktail competition involving The Irishman whiskey.
Focusing on The Irishman Founder’s Reserve expression, both companies are on the lookout for the best innovative twist on their signature serve, The Cold Irishman. With the original recipe seeing a blended combination of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, coffee, half and half and sugar syrup, the competition throws open a variety of options to impress the Walsh family of Bernard and Rosemary.
The award-winning Walsh Whiskey are offering an exclusive trip to their new distillery ‘Royal Oak’, with the chance to experience the range of expressions first hand, as well as the immersive opportunity of a VIP distillery tour located in the heart of barley-growing country, framed by two-hundred-year-old might oaks on the banks of the goodly River Barrow in Ireland’s Ancient East.
With a minimum of 35 ml of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve needed, and a maximum of 5 ingredients (including the base whiskey and excluding garnish) allowed, bartenders also need to explain their inspiration as part of their submission.
Entries will be open from 17th March until 12th May, in which a blind judging will take place of all submissions by some of the top industry figures in whiskey, as well as an Emporia Brands representative visiting the venue to experience the recipe first hand, with the winner announced on 19th May, the day before World Whisky Day. The winner will win the trip to Royal Oak later in 2017 where they will re-create their winning recipe to the Walsh Family, VIP’s and journalists within the distillery itself.
Premium spirits, marketing and distribution company Spirits Platform and Walsh Whiskey Distillery have announced an exclusive Australian partnership with to manage Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s internationally acclaimed whiskey brands, spearheaded by The Irishman.
Coinciding with Spirits Platform’s first birthday and the recent opening of Walsh Whiskey’s new distillery at Royal Oak in Ireland’s County Carlow, Spirits Platform will distribute The Irishman’s Founder’s Reserve (RRP $70), The Irishman Single Malt (RRP $80) and limited editions, The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt (RRP $110) and The Irishman Cask Strength (RRP $180) to selected premium retail and on-premise accounts.
Established in 1999 by husband and wife team Bernard and Rosemary Walsh , The Irishman has gathered a swathe of international awards including being named Irish Whiskey Brand of the Year at the New York International Spirits Competition in November 2015.
Now exporting to 40 countries, Walsh Whiskey Distillery is rare amongst independent Irish whiskey distilleries in producing all three styles of Irish whiskey – pot still, grain and malt from its two production lines using both pot and column stills.
The exclusive Australian distribution agreement follows Spirits Platform CEO Ian Atherton’s visit to Ireland in June for the opening of the new €25 million (AUD$36 million) Walsh Whiskey Distillery and visitor centre at the 18th century Royal Oak estate on the banks of the River Barrow. The distillery is expected to attract more than 75,000 visitors per year as a highlight of Ireland’s Ancient East Tour is offering.
Ian Atherton said he was delighted by the opportunity to represent this outstanding example of Irish whiskey in Australia.
“We could not ask to manage a more premium, artisan whiskey that is testament to the uniquely handcrafted approach undertaken by Bernard, Rosemary and their team.”
“On behalf of the Spirits Platform team I want to thank Walsh Whiskey Distillery and we look forward to nurturing The Irishman in Australia as we continue to develop awareness with both consumers and trade,” said Ian.
Bernard Walsh, Co-Founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery and creator of The Irishman and Writers Tears super-premium whiskeys said he was thrilled that the Australian visitors to the distillery could now also enjoy its whiskeys at home.
“We were delighted to seal our partnership with Spirits Platform during Ian’s recent visit to Royal Oak.”
“Whilst Australia currently accounts for two percent of global Irish whiskey sales – this is a number I’m sure will grow under the stewardship of the Spirits Platform team,” said Bernard.
The launch of The Irishman in Australia coincides with the visit of Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s Global Brand Ambassador, Sean Normoyle, who will be attending Whiskey Live in Brisbane on August 19 &20, The Oak Barrel Fair, Sydney on August 26 & 27 as well as visiting key accounts and partners.
Whiskey distillingreturned toCounty Carlow after an absence of over 200 year today as husband and wife, Bernard & Rosemary Walsh, the founders of Walsh Whiskey Distillery officially opened their €25million Irish whiskey distillery by the banks of the River Barrow at Royal Oak, County Carlow. Royal Oak is now distilling Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s whiskeys, The Irishman and Writers Tears, which are already sold in 40 countries worldwide.
Officiating at the opening with the Walshs was Augusto Reina, Chief Executive of Illva Saronno SpA of Milan (owners of drinks brands Disaronno and Tia Maria) which has a 50% share in the Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak.
Located on an 18th century estate comprising 40 acres of pastoral land, the distillery is theonlyindependent Irish whiskey distillery producing all three styles of Irish whiskey – pot still, malt and grain fromits two production lines using both pot stills and column stills.
At full tilt the Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak has the capacity to produce 650,000 cases (two and a half million litres of pure alcohol (LPA’s) or 8 million bottles) of whiskey annually which is 9.7% of the total Irish whiskey exports in 2014.
The company actually commenced distilling on Easter Sunday this year and is laying down stocks for release from 2019 onwards after the minimum three year maturation process has been completed.
The new distillery puts Walsh Whiskey in control of its own destiny. The three key differences the distillery at Royal Oak makes to Walsh Whiskey are:
1. Increased Supply to Markets: The considerable production capacity will enable the company to increase supply to the 40 markets where The Irishman and Writers Tears are already sold – especially the core markets of the United States, Canada and Europe (including Russia).
2. Target New Markets in Asia: The company is already leveraging its partner Illva Saronnos’ established relationships in the Asian markets which hold great potential for Irish whiskey. Illva Saronno has major operations in India and China as well as an extensive distribution network. Countries targeted, other than India and China, include Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
3. Increase the Range of Irish Whiskey Expressions Through Greater Innovation: The keys to whiskey’s character and taste are the oak barrels used to mature them and what they have previously contained. Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak has sourced a great variety of barrels and butts from its own and its partner Illva Saronnos’ international contacts to create every taste and hue possible for whiskey drinkers to experience.
These include bourbon barrels from Kentucky (USA); sherry butts from Jerez (Spain); Rum barrels from Saint Lucia (Caribbean) and Marsala wine casks from Illva Saronno’s own Florio Marsala Winery in Sicily (Italy).
Walsh Whiskey Distillery will allocate up to 15% of its annual production to contract sales and has recently sealed its first deal with Altia (a leading wine and spirits company in the Nordic and Baltic countries).
There was a strong attendance by the company’s international distribution partners with representatives from 22 of the 40 countries across 4 continents that already distribute The Irishman and Writers Tears. The countries represented were Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Malta, Northern Ireland, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom & the United States of America. There were also some interested observers in the form of drinks industry executives from India and Australia.
The distillery at Royal Oak will also include two maturation houses with capacity for 60,000 barrels. Work on these buildings will commence in 2017.
The distillery, which is also designed as a visitor experience, will be open to the public from this July. The tours will also incorporate the 18th century Holloden House (c.1755) in a few years when renovations are complete. A total of 75,000 ‘whiskey tourists’ are expected to visit annually by 2021.
The operations at Royal Oak will create a total of 55 permanent and part-time jobs in the Carlow area, over 5 years. TheDepartment of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland, is supporting the project.
The founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery,Mr Bernard Walsh said: “After 17 years in business, the opening of our own distillery is both the fulfilment of Rosemary and my own dreams and a game changing moment for the company. We are now in control of our destiny and have the capacity, variety and relationships to play our part in the continued revival of Irish whiskey which is one of this country’s great traditions.”
He added: “That we can do this in a place like Royal Oak which is blessed with an abundance of the best natural ingredients as well as being a place of beauty and tranquillity is idyllic. We look forward to sharing our whiskeys and Royal Oak with the world.”
Mr Augusto Reina, Chief Executive of Illva Saronnno, Walsh Whiskey’s strategic partner said: “Illva Saronno is enthusiastic about the opening of Royal Oak and proud of the partnership with Walsh Whiskey Distillery. We look forward to continuing our support in the coming years through our know-how and expertise in the global spirits’ market.”
Michael Cantwell, Divisional Manager for the Food and Drink sectors at Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland is pleased to have supported this project at Walsh Whiskey Distillery. We have worked very closely with the team throughout the development of the project and welcome the employment that will be created at a local and regional level”
The distillery comprises 4,000 cubic metres of concrete, 60 kilometres s of cabling, 400 tonnes of structural steel and 30 tonnes of copper and steel whiskey distilling equipment.
Walsh Whiskey Distillery has prioritised environmental responsibility in the design of its operations including:
· By product from the production process (draff and pot ale) is recycled back into the farming industry as animal feed.
· Cooling water from the distillation process is recycled back to the River Barrow.
· The entire facility is heated using its own energy generated by the whiskey production processes. This heat supply will also eventually heat Holloden House, which dates back to c.1755, when it is fully restored in a few years time.
· The building materials used are sympathetic to the environs. The buildings are roofed in slate roof in keeping with Holloden House, copper fittings are applied, the warehouses will be clad in green and creeper plants trained up the walls and the roadways are sunken to limit visibility in what is a pastoral rural setting
· Royal Oak is home to seven species of oak tree and Bernard Walsh has commenced plans to develop an oak arboretum by planting more species under the guidance of consultant horticulturalist, Daphne Levinge Shackleton. Three young oaks (Turkey Oak and English Oak) were recently planted in from of the distillery to replace trees lost to storms in recent years.
· A stone wall restoration program will also be implemented.
With only three days until St Patrick’s Day, UK distributor Emporia Brands have put together a series of events and promotions involving its award-winning The Irishman Whiskey of Walsh Whiskey Distillers.
Twisting the whiskey cold brew recipe that’s famous in New Orleans, The Irishman expressions are used and will be available at NOLA in London and Pinch in Liverpool, offering a County Carlow slant in your celebrations. Pinch will also be presenting a special The Irishman cocktail menu, with an on-site sampling session being held in the evening for its customers.
NOLA, The Luggage Room, The German Gymnasium, 100 Wardour Street, Skylon and The Porterhouse, all in London, also serve up The Irishman 12-year-old single malt, one that is matured entirely in first fill flame-charred bourbon barrels. Other venues
The Irishman Single Malt is one of only a handful of Irish triple-distilled single malts available. Aged in bourbon and sherry casks, it can be enjoyed on St Patrick’s Day at Waxy O’Connor’s, whilst the original and signature blend created by founder Bernard Walsh, the Founders Reserve, is available at Time and Place in Manchester, Popolo in Newcastle and The Luggage Room & Portobello Gold (both in London).
To enjoy at home, you can pick up a bottle of The Irishman Founders Reserve at The Vintage House in London or Latitude in Leeds, whilst Hedonism Wines in London offer to you The Irishman 12-year-old and the Cask Strength, an expression where each year Bernard Walsh personally selects a handful of exceptional casks to make the benchmark super-premium cask strength whiskey. It is available in strictly limited quantities with on average 2000 bottles produced each year, each one uniquely numbered and signed.
With Royal Oak, the site of the new Walsh Whiskey Distillery in County Carlow, opening its doors in June, this year’s St Patrick’s Day marks the first celebration of 2016. Raise a dram of The Irishman and keep an eye on our future celebratory events coming to you across the UK.