Blackrock Cellar – Off-Licence of Year

Not for the first time, Blackrock Cellar has won the ‘National Off-Licence of the Year’ Award from the National Off-Licence Association for 2019. The off-licence also won the title two years ago.

Its near-neighbour Baggot Street Wines won ‘Responsible Retailer of the Year 2019’ and Eoin Stokes, of Molloy’s Liquor Store, Tallaght, won ‘RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2019’.

The NOffLA-hosted awards took place at The Honourable Society of King’s Inns in Dublin’s Henrietta Street recently and attracted the highest turnout ever, at over 170, according to NOffLA’s Reggie Walsh.

All 36 finalists were awarded ‘Merit’ or ‘Excellence’ certificates and a Customer Service Award based on their performance.

Award-winners on the night included:

The NOffLA Food Retailer Off-Licence of the Year 2019 – Donnybrook Fair, Dublin 4

The El Coto Customer Service Award of the Year 2019 – The Vintry, Rathgar, Dublin 6

The Redbreast Spirit Specialist of the Year 2019 – James Redmond & Sons Ltd, Rathgar

The Hop House 13 Beer Specialist of the Year 2019 – Martin’s Off-Licence, Clontarf, D3

The Dona Paula Wine Specialist of the Year 2019 – Mitchell & Son, CHQ, Dublin

The Hennessy Munster Off-Licence of the Year 2019 – Galvins Carry Out, Carrigaline, Co Cork

The Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin Connaught/Ulster Off-Licence of the Year 2019 – Dalys Drinks, Boyle, Co Roscommon

The Montes Leinster Off-Licence of the Year 2019 – The Wine Centre, Kilkenny

The Bombay Sapphire Dublin Off-Licence of the Year 2019 – Jus de Vine, Portmarnock, Co Dublin

The NOffLA RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2019 – Eoin Stokes, Molloy’s Liquor Store, Tallaght

The NOffLA Responsible Retailer of the Year 2019 – Baggot Street Wines, Baggot St, D4

The NOffLA National Off-Licence of the Year 2019 –  Blackrock Cellar, Blackrock, Co Dublin.


Award judging for the awards began in last June 2018 with the ongoing judging process culminating in a blind wine tasting which involved participants answering questions about the unidentified wines. Final awards were allocated following this process.

Now in its 23rd year, the awards recognise and showcase excellence in the independent off-licence sector which represents 315 specialist businesses throughout the country. The awards highlight those retailers that offer exceptional service to customers and demonstrate excellence in retail standards.

NOffLA members have also expressed concerns regarding the scale of deep discounting by supermarkets during the Christmas festive period, prompted by the forthcoming Minimum Unit Pricing regime and  during the Awards NOffLA again called on Government to immediately commence MUP under the Public Health (Alcohol) Act and to develop separate regulations regarding the “reckless promotion of alcohol” at below-invoice-cost.

“As socially conscious independent retailers, NOffLA welcomed the enactment of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act in 2018,” said NOffLA Chairman Gary O’Donovan, speaking at the awards, “That said, NOffLA is concerned by the failure to commence Minimum Unit Pricing and the failure by Government to commit to a definite timeline for commencement.

“In light of this fact, we’re calling on the Minister for Health Simon Harris TD to either develop specific regulations clamping down on the irresponsible marketing and retail of alcohol, namely the sale of alcohol at below-invoice-cost, or immediately commence Minimum Unit Pricing.

“The repealing of the Groceries Order in 2006 has resulted in the promotion of irresponsibly discounted branded alcoholic products, driving footfall in multiples where the losses are recouped through the sale of other goods, as well as reclaimed by retailers through VAT, costing the Exchequer €24 million per annum.

“While tonight we celebrate the best that the industry has to offer, Ireland remains without a responsible alcohol pricing policy,” he concluded, “Indeed, the Government has come under sustained pressure from multinational food retailers and supermarkets, seeking a prioritisation of sectoral revenues over public health.”





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