Walsh Whiskey Distillery Releases Super Premium 2017 Vintage

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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.

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When The Irishman Met The Sicilian

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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.”

Hard Rock Cafe Want To Spritz Up Your Summer!

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Hard Rock Cafe have brought out their latest cocktail creations for the Summer season, focusing on the ever-popular Spritz, twisting them with familiar names such as Bombay Sapphire, Jack Daniel’s, Grey Goose and Chambord.

Kick-start with my personal favourite of the ‘Jack and Diane’ that see’s Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 combined with Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and topped with lemonade for a bold hit of whiskey and orange. A close second for me is the ‘Chambord Supernova’ that see’s Chambord blended with St Germaine elderflower and topped with Prosecco, soda and a lemon twist. Rich, refreshing and offers a long finish!

A fantastic Grey Goose offering in ‘Good Limes, Bad Limes’ is available, showing the flavours of St Germaine elderflower, fresh limes, Prosecco and soda, whilst the ‘Thyme Warp’ offers a highlight of the Bombay Sapphire experience with fresh lemon juice and tonic, with a sprig of thyme to bring out the fresh aromas.

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The two other Bombay Sapphire creations include ‘Gin Ginie’ that see’s the bolder profiles of Chambord mixed with the British gin and bitter lemon, topped with a sprig of mint, whilst the ‘My Gineration’ focuses on the gin with orange juice, tonic and plenty of orange peel for garnish.

Six refreshing serves, priced between £9.45 and £9.95, served up, if you wish, within a Hard Rock souvenir mason jar (for £11.80) whilst rocking out in the sunshine (or what’s left of it) on their terrace. And if you’ve ever read my previous features on Hard Rock Cafe’s food offerings, you’ll know you can make an afternoon of it!

Jack & Diane with a Guinness Bacon Cheeseburger for me. I’ll see you at the bar.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Hudson Launches 70cl To The UK Market

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William Grant & Sons UK brand, Hudson whiskey, is launching a 70cl format across its Baby Bourbon and Manhattan Rye expressions in the UK.

After ten years at the forefront of craft distilling, Hudson, the first American whiskey distillery in New York since prohibition, is introducing the bigger bottle size in response to demand for a larger format from the UK on-trade.

“We are changing to a bigger bottle, but we haven’t changed our process. We still make whiskey grain-to-glass at the Tuthilltown Distillery in the Hudson Valley. Everything was, and still is, done by hand. It’s been quite a journey, from regular folks making whiskey to award winning distillers.” commented Ralph Erenzo, one of the two founders at Hudson whiskey.

Staying true to its craft and entrepreneurial nature, the brand will leverage the existing US 75cl bottle, under filled to 70cl to meet EU standards. The underfill method reflects how the brand previously bottled Hudson Baby Bourbon in a 35cl format using the US 37.5cl bottle when it first launched in the UK four years ago.

“We have certainly made remarkable progress in the recent past, hiring more people, laying down more whiskey and improving our efficiency, but we are still far from affording a bespoke 70cl bottle for the UK” Ralph Erenzo continued.

Due to the exclusivity of the liquid, Hudson is only available in a small selection of top whisky bars, hotels and restaurants, and premium whisky specialists in the UK. Hudson Four Grain will remain in a 35cl format for the foreseeable future.

Lufthansa Selects Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s The Irishman For Its First Class Lounges

Bernard Walsh MD Walsh Whiskey Distillery Lufthansa Plane

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”.

St Patrick’s Day Launch for The Cold Irishman Competition

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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.

To enter, bartenders are asked to submit their details and cocktail recipe to the online registration form located at http://www.emporiabrands.com/coldirishman

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.

#ColdIrishman

For more information on Walsh Whiskey, please visit http://walshwhiskey.com or follow on Twitter @WalshWhiskey, Facebook at /walshwhiskey and /TheIrishmanWhiskey and Instagram at http://www.Instagram.com/walshwhiskey

Home Of Jameson Re-Opens Following €11 Million Investment

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Irish Distillers, Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has announced the reopening of the home of Jameson in Smithfield, Dublin, following a total investment of €11 million. The new look ‘Jameson Distillery Bow St.’ brand home, which was officially opened by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and Dublin Central TD Paschal Donohoe today, will support the Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy target of trebling the number of Irish whiskey tourists visiting Ireland annually, to 1.9 million by 2025.

As Jameson continues its phenomenal growth story, with 27 years of consecutive growth, the redeveloped Jameson brand home draws on cutting-edge technology to complement the historic surroundings of this iconic distillery and deliver an unforgettable storytelling experience. Three fully-guided tours are offered: ‘The Bow St. Experience’ tasting tour focuses on the stories of Jameson’s rich heritage and on-going innovations while ‘The Whiskey Makers’ and ‘The Whiskey Shakers’ experiences provide more in-depth whiskey and cocktail masterclasses, both including the opportunity to sample whiskey straight from a cask in the distillery’s new live maturation house.

Speaking at the opening of Jameson Distillery Bow St., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD said: “Each year, over 600,000 tourists pass through Irish whiskey visitor centres to experience first-hand the heritage behind this time-honoured spirit and hear the stories of established and emerging distilleries. The Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy aims to treble this figure to 1.9 million visitors by 2025 and Jameson Distillery Bow St. will undoubtedly play a central role in delivering on this vision. Smithfield and its wider Dublin environs have a rich history and vibrant cultural scene which will also continue to attract and enthrall visitors from near and far.”

Jean-Christophe Coutures, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers said: “As the home of Jameson, Smithfield has an incredibly important place in our history. We’ve grown up on Bow Street and welcomed over 4 million whiskey lovers through our doors since the opening of the Old Jameson Distillery brand home in 1997. With this latest investment, we place storytelling at the core of the visitor experience, drawing on state of the art technology to bring the 230-year history of Bow Street to life, with a variety of tour options to cater for everyone – from those who may be discovering Jameson Irish whiskey for the very first time, to long-standing Jameson enthusiasts who are seeking to further their understanding of this much-loved spirit. The success of Irish whiskey is a success story for Ireland and we look forward to welcoming whiskey-lovers from across the globe and sharing our story with them.”

Ray Dempsey, who has been General Manager at the Jameson brand home in Smithfield since its opening in 1997, added: “We have had the privilege of calling Bow Street home since 1780 and we’re delighted with our new makeover. Visitors can look forward to immersive storytelling where they will be invited to touch, smell and most importantly, taste Jameson in the original Bow St. Distillery building. As Smithfield continues to experience a cultural resurgence, we’re incredibly excited to be part of this thriving community and look forward to being here long into the future.”

Construction work began in September and was led by BRC Imagination Arts, Dublin based firm TOTP Architects and Flynn Management & Contractors, with approximately 100 people employed as part of the redevelopment work. BRC Imagination Arts is one of the world’s leading experience design and production agencies specialising in the creation of next generation brand experiences. Founded in 1981, past clients of BRC include the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta; the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

To book tickets for the Jameson Distillery Bow St., visit http://www.jamesonwhiskey.com

Tullamore D.E.W. Reignites Irish Tradition With New Signature Serve – ‘D.E.W. & A Brew’

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Tullamore D.E.W. – the original triple distilled, triple blend Irish Whiskey – is reinvigorating the Irish custom of sipping a beer and whiskey, side by side, to unlock the complementary flavours in each with new serve, ‘D.E.W. & A Brew’.

Tullamore D.E.W. is a triple distilled, triple blend of all three types of Irish whiskey – Single Malt, Grain and Pot Still whiskey. This blend of all three types of triple distilled whiskey, in particular the Single Malt, gives Tullamore D.E.W. complexity and a unique sweet smoothness that is perfectly paired with beer’s bitter bite. John Quinn, Tullamore D.E.W. Global Brand Ambassador, commented: “Beer and whiskey are malt cousins, because malted barley is a raw ingredient in both; so, sipping whiskey alongside a beer is the best way to unlock new flavours for an evening full of true character.” He continued: “The recent growth in popularity of craft beer makes this the perfect time to introduce D.E.W. & A Brew. Tullamore D.E.W. unlocks different flavour combinations depending on the type of beer it’s served with. There are a lot of great beers on the market right now and great beer loves Tullamore D.E.W.”

In London, Tullamore D.E.W. has partnered with ETM Group where Tullamore D.E.W. will be served with Longarm ‘Birdie Flipper’ Irish Red Ale. Consumers can enjoy the combination in bars such as Greenwood, Jugged Hare and Botanist Broadgate Circle for a chance to win a VIP ‘D.E.W & A Brew’ masterclass. Available from 1st March, full list of venues can be found at http://www.etmgroup.co.uk.

Whiskey and beer have been made side by side in Ireland since monks started to distil their ‘table beer’ to make whiskey. Also, the Daly family, who first employed Daniel E. Williams at Tullamore, brewed local beers alongside their whiskey. Over time, it was noticed that these ‘malt cousins’ were not only convenient to make together, but they formed a fine partnership on the palate. The sweetness of a “ball of malt” (whiskey) complemented the bitterness of their regular “pint of plain” (beer). To enjoy the two side-by-side became a common practice in bars across Ireland. Tullamore D.E.W. has worked with beer experts to create a guide to the complementary flavours unlocked by D.E.W. & A Brew. It reveals, for example, that Irish stout highlights ‘the spiciness and complexity of Tullamore D.E.W.’, while Tullamore D.E.W. ‘highlights the zesty dry tones’ of India Pale Ale.

The launch of D.E.W. & A Brew follows several recent award-winning new additions to the Tullamore D.E.W. range: Tullamore D.E.W. 14 Year Old Single Malt, Tullamore D.E.W. 18 Year Old Single Malt, Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask Finish and Tullamore D.E.W. TRILOGY. The new signature serve is Tullamore D.E.W.’s next step in providing a whiskey experience of true character suitable for every occasion and every whiskey drinker.

The signature serve launch will focus mainly on Bristol with outlets such as Tobacco Factory, Steam and Butcombe Brewery Pubs stocking the serve from March onwards.

Buffalo Trace Mystery Migration Hits Manchester

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The team at Buffalo Trace came around to Manchester once again to host their annual cocktail competition, but armed with a twist that saw the bartenders of the North West face a variety of challenges in a couple of unique settings.

Hosted at El Gato Negro, the competitors found their way to the final by offering a unique Buffalo Trace serve, but knowing that if they got through, a set of challenges awaited them. Hailing from the likes of Epernay in Manchester, Salt Dog Slims in Liverpool and Filter and Fox, also in Liverpool, the competitors were joined by UK Brand Ambassador Tim Giles, who alongside his team at Hi-Spirits (the UK distributor of Buffalo Trace) of Ross and Jack, set the day off with a ‘Buffalo Migration Tour’. Asking the bartenders to work on their starting clue, this led them to one of four venues across the city of Manchester, where once found, they were set a task that would test the knowledge of each individual when it came to the world of Buffalo Trace.

Tasks included getting the correct barrel maturation letters and numbers out of a series of 8 to choose from, a blind tasting of a selection of the Sazerac whisky range, including Buffalo Trace, as well as the family tree of the company itself. If correct, the competitor receives the key to the mystery box that contains items that can be used within their migration cocktail, if wrong, they have to pick an item, but not one you would necessarily find within a classic whiskey cocktail!

Once all 4 challenges have been completed, a rendezvous back at El Gato Negro kicked off the main portion of the cocktail competition, as each competitor had to re-create their Pioneering American cocktail that they entered with, as well as a Buffalo Trace cocktail using the ingredients won (or lost) over the four challenges.

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Bottle Shock, by Anthony Hogan

With myself, Tim and last years competition winner Joe Ballinger judging, each competitor showed off their skills in creation, as well as their knowledge of Buffalo Trace and the links from this to their ideas, both in the original recipe, as well as their quick-fire migration cocktail.

The top three will be showcased here today, so in third place saw Liverpool represent with Beth Leigh of MOJO Bar. Her original Pioneering Creation saw her create the ‘Trial by Jury’, which saw Buffalo Trace mixed with a spiced porter syrup, Giffard’s dark cacao, almond milk and egg white, served with an atomiser which contained White Dog whiskey, almond and chocolate bitters. Her Mystery Migration cocktail though saw her create the ‘Bloody Long Derby’, offering up Buffalo Trace, fresh tomatoes, lemon juice, mint, Antica Formula and sugar, topped with San Pellegrino Lemon and garnished with a mint sprig and fresh cherry tomatoes.

Anthony Hogan of Epernay, Manchester earned second place with his two cocktails. His Pioneering Cocktail, named the ‘Bottle Shock’ saw Buffalo Trace built with a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, Peychaud’s bitters, lemon juice and blueberry with bluebell soda, garnished with mint and fresh blueberries. His on the spot Mystery Migration recipe, named ‘Hunters of Kentucky’, saw him build a recipe with Buffalo Trace, peach and Red Bull syrup, fresh tomato juice, Antica Formula and Peychaud’s Aperitivo, garnished with a peach fan and lemon zest.

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New Orleans Fizz and Celine Dijon by Will Meredith

The winning serves though, both seen as equal and of a high-standard when we were discussing the drinks in general, came from Will Meredith of El Gato Negro. His original entry saw him show off the ‘New Orleans Fizz’, a blended serve containing Buffalo Trace, egg white, milk and cream, homemade Creole New Orleans ketchup (fig, date, prune and cayenne pepper flavoured) and a corn, malt and rye syrup. His Mystery Migration serve saw a thrown creation of Buffalo Trace, Peychaud’s Aperitivo, a mango and Dijon mustard syrup, topped with Stella Artois, capped with the fantastic name of ‘Celine Dijon’.

So congratulations to Will, who wins himself a trip to the home of Buffalo Trace in Kentucky! A great idea for a cocktail competition, really getting the competitors to immerse themselves in the brands history and heritage, bringing it to the forefront in their Pioneering America cocktail, and testing their skills with the Mystery Migration serve. All whilst having their knowledge tested, really bringing out the best bartender in the North West and earning their stripes as they head to America.

Enjoy Kentucky Will!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

€25m Walsh Whiskey Distillery Opens At Royal Oak, County Carlow

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Whiskey distilling returned to County 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 the only independent Irish whiskey distillery producing all three styles of Irish whiskey – pot still, malt and grain from its two production lines using both pot stills and column stills.

QU8A8949At 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).

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21-06-2016 – NEWS – €25M WALSH WHISKEY DISTILLERY OPENING – General Views from the event. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

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.

Environmental Considerations

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.