The €500,000 rebrand sees wholesale changes to The Irishman’s bottle, labelling and packaging. It follows a strategic review commenced in April 2020.
Bord Bia’s specialist Insight Centre The Thinking House assisted Walsh Whiskey in the review which involved research, commissioning a new bottle design, brand redesign, packaging production and a range of marketing initiatives in an effort to double sales across over 50 markets within five years.
“As the Irish whiskey category continues to develop with increasing variety, it’s important that we’re clear in our proposition to whiskey consumers,” explained Walsh Whiskey Co-founder Bernard Walsh, “Our message is simple: The Irishman will always be Single Malt-focused – whether championed in pure expressions or blends – and that it will always be triple-distilled to leave a lasting impression.
“We respect and honour Ireland’s great distilling heritage while also exploring exciting new innovations through the use of rare and unusual woods and finishes as well as cereal varieties to influence the Single Malt spirit. To date this has seen us work with Florio Marsala, Oloroso Sherry, Caribbean Rum and Irish Peated Red Ale.”
The most striking change in the rebrand sees the introduction of a bespoke tall, tapered bottle. All expressions in the range are now sealed with a cork, affirming their Super Premium nature. The bottle has strong whiskey cues including broad ‘shoulders’ and a tapered base. A significant feature of the bottle is a series of embossed phrases around the lower part capturing the essence of The Irishman’s focus and purpose, ‘to pursue a lifelong journey in search of the perfect dram/taoscán of single malt while respecting past traditions and with ambition for future possibilities’.
The rededication and rebrand of The Irishman in honour of Single Malt whiskey began in Ireland (including Dublin Airport) today and will be rolled-out across Europe and North America from April onwards and the rest of the world in the second half of 2022.
A new brand icon is one of three very distinctive features on the label and product packaging which also contain a lot of the unique, technical details of each expression.
Other unique and notable features of the new labels are the addition of braille for the visually-impaired and nutritional/calorific information on e-labels on the back of the pack and online.
An early adopter of e-labels, Walsh Whiskey participated in a pilot study organised by spiritsEUROPE and CEEV (the representative body for wine companies). There are also changes to the composition of the range, with a change of name for one core expression – the Founder’s Reserve blend (70% Single Malt & 30% Pot Still), renamed The Harvest – and the addition of a limited-edition to the core portfolio.
This expression, a truly unique blend of two Premium styles of whiskey, started life as the first-ever whiskey created by Bernard. The whiskey is crafted entirely from a mash bill of 100% Irish barley.
First released as a limited-edition bottling in 2018, The Irishman Caribbean Cask is being added to the portfolio’s core expressions which include The Harvest; Single Malt; 12 Year-Old Single Malt; 17 Year-Old Single Malt & the Vintage Cask.
The Irishman Caribbean Cask Finish is a rare vatting of Single Malt and Single Pot Still whiskeys finished for six months in Chairman’s Reserve Rum casks from the tiny tropical Caribbean island of Saint Lucia before being bottled at 46% ABV.