The Sazerac Company, known for taking historic sites such as its Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky and its Sazerac House in New Orleans and restoring them to become world class operations, will fully develop the 100-plus acre site, the original demesne of Hazelwood House, to create a world-class whiskey facility and visitor attraction.
The maintenance and preservation works undertaken to date on Hazelwood House (a house of national importance) have played an essential part in saving it from dereliction.
The development will make it one of the most important tourism centres in the West of Ireland, claims the company.
Once complete, Lough Gill Distillery hopes to welcome up to 150,000 visitors annually and will create a homeplace for Sazerac’s Irish whiskeys. Additionally, Sazerac will significantly grow the footprint of Lough Gill Distillery through increasing the distillery’s capacity, adding warehousing capacity and expanding production and bottling lines.
All current Lough Gill Distillery team members will remain with the business and it’s expected that Sazerac will increase employment after the expansion.
As part of the acquisition, Sazerac will continue the development of the Athrú brand, including global distribution.
“With its rich history of distilling and storytelling, Ireland is an ideal homeplace for our whiskey business to flourish,” commented Mark Brown, Sazerac’s President and Chief Executive.
David Raethorne, Founder of the Lough Gill Distillery, added, “This is a major announcement for Sligo and a vote of confidence in the potential for Sligo to become a major player in the booming global Irish whiskey market.”
In tandem with the acquisition, Lough Gill Distillery has also announced that former Bushmills Master Blender Helen Mulholland is joining the team.