The Irish whiskey industry is thriving. The quality and quantity of new brands is something we as a nation should be very proud of. The value of Irish whiskey exports to the all-island economy crossed the €1 billion threshold for the first time in 2022, according to the Irish Whiskey Association. Furthermore, the Irish whiskey distilleries around the island of Ireland attracted 677,000 visitors in 2022, adding significantly to Irish tourism. Many new distilleries popping up around the country are heralding sustainable practices, such as eliminating single-use plastic and utilising 100% renewable energy for distilling their spirits. There is a considerable and growing appetite for Irish whiskey both home and abroad.
Wicklow in a bottle
The Powerscourt Distillery has made history with its latest release – one hundred years since a whiskey has been distilled in the county, 100% malt, 100% distilled on the Powerscourt Estate and 100% Wicklow in a bottle! The Powerscourt Distillery Single Malt is available at selected stockists across Ireland and from the Powerscourt Distillery and Visitor Centre, plus their online store. RRP for the release is €55.
This whiskey’s complex flavour profile boasts a nose filled with toffee, baking spices, vanilla, dessert apples, pears, soft leather, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baked buttered pastry crusts.
According to John Cashman, the head of new product development for The Powerscourt Distillery, “Our First Fercullen Single Malt release takes authentic inspiration from our unique location. It is a great honour to be involved in the inaugural release of a whiskey which was completely distilled here in Powerscourt Distillery. The whole team are exceptionally proud of this key milestone in our story, especially our first employee and senior distiller, Johnathan Graham, who, alongside our founding master distiller, supervised the first distillation in 2018. Our award-winning master distiller, Paul Corbett, has curated the final liquid – a sensational single malt worthy of the title “Spirit of Wicklow”.
“The spirit laid down at Powerscourt Distillery in 2018 is of exceptional quality. To have the opportunity to blend these liquids and establish the DNA of Fercullen Single Malt has been an honour. I look forward to blending many more releases of Powerscourt Distillery liquid in the coming years,” says Paul Corbett, master distiller.
The Powerscourt Distillery Single Malt is available from Barry and Fitzwilliam or Powerscourt Distillery direct.
Clonakilty Distillery, situated in County Cork was recently awarded Gold Membership of Origin Green, the world’s only national food and drink sustainability programme of its kind.
An initiative of Bord Bia, gold membership is only granted to companies that have demonstrated exceptional annual performance in areas such as raw material certification, packaging, energy, emissions, and waste reduction.
Clonakilty Distillery has recently been positioning itself as a sustainable grain-to-glass distillery. They do everything on-site from growing their own grain to distilling, maturing, blending, and bottling; hence “grain to glass.”
In the past year, the distillery has undertaken significant initiatives to bolster its sustainability practices. Notably, they redesigned their bottles which now weigh 22% less and are made with recycled glass. The company also eliminated single-use plastic from their shipping packaging and transitioned their production process to utilise 100% renewable energy for distilling their spirits.
Marketing manager Karina Collins said, “We have found new ways to use less water and source ingredients responsibly, while keeping 100% of our production operations within the local area, minimising our transport carbon footprint.”
“As a company we took the decision to make our sustainability goals more immediate, rather than committing to distant dates, and this is resonating with our customers,” she said.
Revival of an iconic brand
Dunville’s Irish Whiskey is one of Ireland’s oldest and best known whiskey brands. Founded in Belfast in 1808, Dunville’s was the world’s biggest producer of whiskey until the untimely closure of the original Dunville’s distillery in 1936. In 2012 the iconic brand was revived by The Echlinville Distillery, who have been on a decade long journey to restore The Spirit of Belfast to its rightful place among the world’s best whiskeys.
Dunville’s is known and respected globally for its outstanding single malts and vintage blends and has established itself as the home of exceptional sherry cask finishes. Alongside the core range of premium whiskeys, the Dunville’s Single Cask Series features limited edition, cask strength, single cask releases from the finest casks in their warehouses.
Dunville’s ethos is to produce the finest spirit conceivable – exceptional whiskey, without compromise. This approach has earned The Spirit of Belfast around 60 global awards and accolades. Most recently, Dunville’s has won 12 prizes at the World Whiskies Awards and was named Ireland’s Best Whiskey at the Irish Whiskey Awards.
The complete Dunville’s portfolio, including Dunville’s 1808, Three Crowns and Three Crowns Peated, the iconic Dunville’s PX 10 year old Sherry Cask Finish and the recently added 20 Year Old Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish and 10 and 21 Year Old Palo Cortado Sherry Cask finishes, is available to the trade from Hi-Spirits Ireland.
The World Wood Series
Bushmills Irish Whiskey has announced the launch of two rare, single malt Irish whiskeys as part of the brand’s new ‘World Wood’ series created exclusively for Global Travel Retail. Shaped by the unique microclimate on Northern Ireland’s wild causeway coast and seasoned in casks from across the world, the first two expressions – a 15 year old and a 21 year old single malt – will be available this month [September].
The World Wood series epitomises Bushmills’ pioneering philosophy of restless progress, showcasing the brand’s extraordinary expertise in whiskey distilling and wood management with carefully curated single malts aged in the finest and rarest hand-selected casks.
For more than four centuries, Bushmills has been relentlessly committed to delivering world-class whiskeys and, in doing so, has often looked beyond Ireland’s shores for inspiration. This new series is spearheaded by master blender, Alex Thomas, who adds, “We search the four corners of the world to find exactly the right cask to bring back to our corner of Northern Ireland – Jerez in Spain, Kentucky in USA and Marsala in Sicily”. Thomas has worked tirelessly with her network of leading wine and spirit producers and expert cooperages across the globe to handpick the perfect combination of casks. The resulting expressions are testament to her ingenuity and craft, combining the unique character of Bushmills with wondrously warm flavours and accents from far-flung corners of the world.
The spirit is patiently matured at the Old Bushmills Distillery for 15 years and bottled at 46% ABV, so the sweet, nutty, and complex flavour profile can be savoured to the full.
The 21 Year Old single malt is aged in bourbon barrels and oloroso sherry butts for a minimum of 18 years before finishing in rare first-fill Marsala wine casks from Sicily for three years.
Bushmills 15 and 21 year old GTR exclusive single malt Irish whiskeys are available throughout Asia Pacific and Dublin Airport, Ireland Duty Free stores. Bushmills 15 year old single malt is bottled at 46% ABV and priced at $90 for 700ml. Bushmills 21 Year Old single malt is bottled at 46% ABV and priced at $265 for 700ml.
Old tradition meets modern innovation
Where age old tradition meets modern innovation. Experience whiskey history in the making at Ahascragh Distillery, Ireland’s first energised zero-emissions whiskey and gin distillery, located in the heart of County Galway. Built within a restored nineteenth century mill, visitors can now tour this state-of-the art distillery, exploring whiskey and gin production alongside the history of an old mill and finishing with a tasting of the Ahascragh Distillers award-winning Clan Colla Irish Whiskey, UAIS Irish Whiskey and Xin Gin.
A key differentiator for Ahascragh Distillery is the company’s goal to be zero-emissions. The eco-distillery is powered by renewable energy – wind, solar and coming soon, hydro, using very high temperature heat pump technology and an energy efficient storage system. As no fossil fuels or gas will be used to drive the production process, there will be no carbon emissions from the energy supply side of the distillery. This is a first for the industry. You can book tours at ahascraghdistillery.com
Award winning spirits from county Down
Situated at the edge of the Irish Sea, just yards from Donaghadee Harbour in County Down, lies The Copeland Distillery. Since opening in 2019, the distillery has been producing an award-winning range of gins, rum and Irish whiskey.
Over the last four years the Copeland distilling team have been busy creating a range of double distilled single malts, chocolate malts, pot-still, peated and rye whiskeys which are set for first releases in 2024. The new-make spirits have been aged in a variety of casks from traditional ex-bourbon to sherry, port, red wine and rum in Copeland’s bespoke cask warehouse on the Ards Peninsula. Prior to the release of the first 5yr old whiskeys, the distillery has launched Merchants’ Quay Irish whiskey, a unique blend of three different whiskeys aged in four different casks. Natural colour, non-chilled filtered and bottled at 40% ABV, Merchants’ Quay was awarded silver at IWSC 2021. Not content with the superb flavour profiles of the blend, the distillery recently introduced a second Merchants’ Quay whiskey, finished for 10 months in ex- Premier Cru Bordeaux red wine casks that previously stored the distillery’s rum, bottled at 46% ABV.
RRPs for Merchants’ Quay are €39.99 (40% ABV) and €47.50 for the ex-Bordeaux rum cask (46% ABV). Available to the trade through Classic Drinks.
Be More Tullamore
Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey, renowned for its rich Irish heritage and for being the first Irish whiskey to boldly present a triple blend recipe, is thrilled to announce the launch of its new global marketing campaign, ‘Be More Tullamore.’ This marks an exciting moment as the brand embarks on a new chapter in its history, embracing the spirit of its hometown like never before.
‘Be More Tullamore’ is more than just a campaign; it’s a heartfelt love letter from Tullamore D.E.W. to its cherished hometown. This campaign captures the essence of the community’s quick-witted and humble nature, reflecting the very personality that has shaped the brand. For nearly 200 years whiskey crafting has been part of the very fabric of the town, with Tullamore D.E.W. still employing over 100 townsfolk at the distillery today, making it a massive contributor to the local economy.
One of the standout features of this campaign is its extensive out-of-home (OOH) advertising, which will be prominently displayed across the globe. Alongside digital advertising and carefully crafted PR across global markets, Tullamore D.E.W. is inviting whiskey enthusiasts from all corners of the world to ‘Be More Tullamore.’
The campaign light heartedly pokes fun at the rise of the influencer with the mischievous key tagline ‘In Tullamore an influencer is whoever picks up the bar tab’. Appearing on billboards in carefully selected locations around Ireland’s capital city and right across the globe, this campaign acts as a reminder to embrace the joyful and cheeky spirit that defines both the whiskey and the people of Tullamore.
The brand has also paired with some of Dublin’s most popular public houses, for bespoke artwork, distinctly poking fun at the typical crowd which frequents each venue.
In Devitt’s we see a billboard stating ‘In Devitts, an influencer is the barman.’ And In The Hairy Lemon we will see a custom designed mural.
Speaking about the ‘Be More Tullamore’ campaign, brand manager, Emma Slevin, said: “This campaign is a celebration of our deep-rooted connection to Tullamore, where our whiskey has been crafted for centuries. We invite everyone to join us in embodying the spirited, quick-witted, and cheeky attitude of our beloved hometown. Let’s ‘Be More Tullamore’ together.”
With Tullamore D.E.W. number two globally and number one in Nordics and eastern Europe, the brand already boasts a well-established global presence. The new campaign is set to be the brands biggest global campaign to date, spreading itself across various markets including the USA, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Tullamore D.E.W. is proud of its Irish roots and even prouder to represent the people of Tullamore across the globe.
A whole lot of swagger
Introducing Dubliner Honeycomb Liqueur – where Irish whiskey gets a serious upgrade with a dash of irresistible flavour and a whole lot of swagger. Dubliner Honeycomb Liqueur seamlessly bridges the world of classic liqueurs with the bold Irish whiskey landscape.
The masterful team has conjured up a luxuriously smooth liqueur that’s impossible to resist by fusing iconic Dubliner Irish Whiskey with the delicate sweetness of caramel and rich honeycomb notes. With each sip, you’ll experience a symphony of flavours that dances across your palate, reminiscent of honey, toffee, and cream soda, with a gentle vanilla spice finish.
With a robust 30% ABV, this Irish whiskey liqueur stands as the ultimate fusion of flavours. A must-try for whiskey enthusiasts and newcomers alike, providing a rich and diverse entry point into the world of whiskey. Whether you choose to enjoy it over ice or ice-cream, savour a captivating cocktail, or indulge in post-show revelry, Dubliner Honeycomb Liqueur knows how to make an entrance. It strikes a harmonious balance between tradition and innovation, delivering a taste of Ireland that’s as unique as it is unforgettable. For more information on the Dubliner range check out dublinerwhiskey.com
To have it delivered straight to your door simply visit thedld.com
Growing the family business
“We’ve lots going on” enthuses Eunan Ryan, MD of Jack Ryan Whiskey, the family brand revived in 2013, a century after his grandfather Thomas set up on Haddington Road. The ‘Ryan’s Malt’ whiskey finishing was continued by Jack, eponymous son. “And we’ve grown too” adds Ryan, “15 whiskey finishes, our own bonded warehouse, finishing hall and bottling line, plus a large repertoire of casks, including collaborations with quality drinks producers”.
Releases to date are malts, 5-15YO, with ABVs of 46% or CS, in batches of thousands, usually numbered and signed. “We plan repeat batches of bigger size going forward,” says the Ryan scion, “starting with ‘Shelbourne’ DD 5YO malt, offered in three batches, each a subtle variation of bourbon, oloroso and Sarabande grenache we’re really excited about this one”.
Four whiskeys are available as miniatures, including the all-gold-winning “Generation Trilogy.” JRW is also entering the luxury presentation gift market, offering various combinations of 700ml + 2 x 50ml bottles.
Committed to prestigious blind-taste-testing peer review, Ryan is proud of the seven IWA and SFWS Gold and Silver awards gleaned to date. “We’re always happy to provide tasting events” says Ryan, “and we have full SM presence including a YouTube channel.”
Keeper’s Heart Irish American Whiskey is thrilled to announce that its 10-year-old Irish Single Malt Whiskey has been awarded the prestigious title of “Best in Class – Irish Whiskey” at the renowned San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the oldest, largest, and most prestigious spirits competition in the world.
Crafted under the expert guidance of legendary Irish distiller Brian Nation, the 10-year-old expression captivated the judges with its unparalleled quality and complex taste profile.
This impressive victory follows on the heels of Keeper’s Heart Irish + American Whiskey being the most-awarded new whiskey of 2022, further solidifying the brand’s growing reputation for excellence and innovation in the industry.
Brian Nation said about this momentous win, “It is an immense honour to receive this recognition from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Our team at Keeper’s Heart is dedicated to producing whiskies of the highest calibre, and we are delighted that our 10-year-old expression has resonated so strongly with the esteemed judges.”
In celebration of this accolade, Keeper’s Heart is excited to announce that the 10-year-old Irish single malt whiskey will be made available to consumers in Ireland later this year. It is distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.
The heart of Irish Whiskey
As the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland, the Kilbeggan Distilling Company has occupied the same spot on the River Brosna in Kilbeggan since 1757. Despite the distillery running into hardship in 1953, the local community pooled together and restored the site, a cornerstone of the community for nearly 200 years at that point, to its former glory. That is why at Kilbeggan, they say from copper stills and iron wills, you can feel the strength of an entire town in a single grain. Today, Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey can be enjoyed by whiskey lovers throughout the world, and every bottle is proof the spirit of Kilbeggan never left.
This remarkable story has yielded some equally remarkable whiskeys throughout our 266 year history, including Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey, the perfect blend for an Irish coffee, and Kilbeggan Single Pot Still, which is made in small batches every day at Kilbeggan Distillery. Now a part of Beam Suntory, a world leader in premium spirits, Kilbeggan’s portfolio of whiskeys continue to challenge conventions while remaining true to classic distilling traditions.
Kilbeggan Black Signature Cocktails
The most recent addition to the range is Kilbeggan Black, a lightly peated blend, whose smoky notes gives a tasteful nod to Kilbeggan’s sister-brand: Connemara. With mellow notes of green fruits and cereals developing into hints of peat smoke, this whiskey can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in one of our signature cocktails: a Kilbeggan Black & Ginger or a Kilbeggan Black Whiskey Sour, both served over ice with an orange peel.
With a media plan in support to highlight its portfolio and signature cocktails to over one million thirsty consumers this Christmas, make sure you add them to your menu today!
The power of collaboration
In 2017 Roe & Co created its signature whiskey Roe & Co 106 in collaboration with Ireland’s best bartenders. Its 106 blend is aged in a high proportion of first-fill bourbon barrels, giving this Irish whiskey its depth of flavour, and is bottled at 45% ABV with smooth, non-chill filtration. A premium blended triple distilled smooth Irish whiskey, with deep layers of vibrant flavour which delivers a beautifully balanced whiskey that can be enjoyed smashed, shaken, stirred or sipped.
The full whiskey experience
Meet The Busker Irish Whiskey. The only brand to offer the full whiskey experience: Pot still, malt and grain, producing all the traditional Irish whiskeys under one roof, at Royal Oak Distillery, Co. Carlow.
An Irish whiskey brand with a strong line up – four types of products from single grain to single malt and the single pot still. All the four existing expressions in the Irish whiskey world. High quality Irish whiskey at an affordable price.
The Busker is a “new to world” Irish whiskey that is born out of a modern Ireland, where the contemporary and bold meet at the crossroads of tradition. An Irish whiskey made in respect of the tradition of the method and process with the expertise of its first female master blender at Royal Oak, Caroline Martin, but with a bold, modern, contemporary approach. With unique brand character which goes beyond the current Irish whiskey offers, made in one of the most innovative and advanced distillery in the whole whisky environment.
With The Busker Triple Cask Triple Smooth, discover a new you with a combination three of the best whiskey styles that Ireland has to offer. Begin your journey with some rich tropical fruits and sweet vanilla notes as the taste buds begin to experience that beautiful malt, capping it all off with a superbly balanced mouth sweetness that begs for more.
The Busker Pot Still is a distinctive expression to Ireland, created to bring you on a journey of exceptional character. The taste buds kick off with some beautiful intense spices balanced with some toffee as we reach that long warm finish. Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.
Wild Altantic spirit
Stafford Bonded are proud to share details of their first release, O’Driscoll’s Irish Whiskey. Crafted by the direct descendants of the O’Driscoll clan, this whiskey is a tribute to those men of the sea and encapsulates that wild Atlantic spirit of adventure, bravery, and survival.
An exceptional blend of golden grain and malted barley, triple distilled and aged in bourbon casks for a minimum of three years, giving the signature smoothness of Irish whiskey.
Maturation of whiskey is an art form. The influence of 100% bourbon cask maturation beautifully enhances the sweet vanilla profile of O’Driscoll’s Irish Whiskey.
Stafford Bonded, managing director, Michael Stafford says: “We wanted to create an exciting new, pitch perfect, (in name, quality, price and provenance), Irish whiskey, for people who always seek the best. O’Driscoll’s is a beautifully blended exceptionally smooth Irish Whiskey. O’Driscoll’s is currently the only Irish owned Irish Whiskey in the standard blend category. Inspired by my grandfather Diarmuid O’Driscoll, the O’Driscoll’s were a famous pirate clan from Baltimore, West Cork.”
O’Driscoll’s Irish Whiskey is produced is a blend of West Cork Malt and Royal Oak Grain, with an the ABV of 40% and RRP of €30. Available nationwide to the on-trade from distributors such as Comans and Celtic Whiskey. It is also available online with home delivery from www.celticwhiskey.com
Unveiled with the Summer Solstice
Boann Distillery celebrated the summer solstice by launching its newest creation ‘Summer Solstice’ , marking the second single cask bottling from Boann in just six months.
Last December, the family-owned distillery celebrated the winter solstice by unveiling its first Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey, ‘Solstice’, reviving whiskey distilling for the first time in the distillery’s home town of Drogheda, Co Meath, in 160 years.
The much-anticipated ‘Summer Solstice’ is the second Irish single pot still whiskey from Boann, with over three years of maturation in a 225-litre Rivesaltes Rouge Barrique single cask from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in Southern France.
Distinguished by its more summer inspired notes of red raisin, caramelised hazelnuts and burnt pineapple, this release offers a striking contrast to the Winter ‘Solstice’ whiskey’s rich winter flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and sultanas.
For further information visit www.boanndistillery.ie
Q&A with Lora Hemy, head distiller at Roe & Co
- Tell us about Roe & Co
At Roe & Co we believe in the power of collaboration and community to re-imagine the world around us for the better. And this is why in 2017 we created our signature whiskey Roe & Co 106 in collaboration with Ireland’s best bartenders. A premium blended triple distilled smooth Irish whiskey, with deep layers of vibrant flavour which balance notes of orchard fruits, toffee and vanilla. Our 106 blend is aged in a high proportion of first-fill bourbon barrels, giving this Irish whiskey its depth of flavour, and is bottled at 45% ABV with smooth, non-chill filtration. This process enhances any serve, while retaining and releasing its full flavour.
- Are you based in Ireland?
Yes, I am part of the Roe & Co team based at the Roe & Co Distillery in Dublin 8 where I have been head distiller since 2019.
- Tell us about your office – The Roe & Co Distillery:
The doors of the Roe & Co. Distillery and Visitor Experience opened in June 2019 and is located in the heart of Dublin’s distillery district in Dublin 8. Re-imagination is at our core and our home at the Roe & Co distillery is no different. We re-imagined an old, dis-used and neglected power station by breathing new life into it to create a vibrant, contemporary whiskey distillery in the heart of Dublin 8. Visitors are treated to an innovative, modern, and engaging whiskey experience focusing on cocktails and the vibrant flavours that make up our wonderful whiskey. We are extremely proud of our distillery and our partners in the community around us who we collaborate with to create a unique visitor experience. And we were delighted that in 2023 the Roe & Co. Distillery and Visitor Centre won the gold trophy for visitor attraction of the year at the Irish Bar Awards last month.
- What is your distilling experience?
I’m a little less traditional than you might expect, but I come to Roe & Co with an exciting, varied and creative background in distillation, fermentation, sensory exploration, flavour, aroma and new product development. I graduated Heriot- Watt University in Scotland and have over 15 years’ experience both
exploring the art of distillation and the process of distilling. I’ve been inspired by the many distilleries, breweries, wineries, and perfumeries that I’ve visited and studied in my travels across Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Iran. Across my career I’ve worked in both large scale distilleries and smaller craft distilleries, leading both distilling operations and both plant and product development and I’m excited to be a female distiller bringing a unique and refreshing perspective to Roe & Co and spearheading exciting new innovation launches.
- What barrels are you using?
Roe & Co re-imagines the possibilities of flavour using both bourbon barrels and sherry casks. But we have some exciting innovations coming later in the year that will see us expanding the casks we are using to mature our whiskies.
- Why is Roe & Co 106 bottled at 45% Abv? Why above ‘normal’?
Roe & Co is bottled at 45% ABV to allow more of the vibrant flavour of our whiskey to shine through. Bottling at a slightly higher ABV ensures that the whiskey can be non-chill filtered, creating a smooth expression that re-imagines flavour and can be enjoyed smashed, shaken, stirred or sipped.
- In your opinion, what’s the best way to serve a Roe & Co whiskey?
There is no wrong way to serve Roe & Co, as a brand we pride ourselves on reimagining the Irish whiskey category, so whilst Roe & Co is wonderful served neat or with some ice cubes, I’m also a fan of changing things up and enjoying a new twist on a classic drink or cocktail, such as the Roe & Co Apple Highball.
ROE APPLE HIGHBALL
50ml Roe & Co
20ml Cloudy Apple
Garnish with mint
Pour over ice in a highball. n