The first spirit is expected to flow from the new €35m distillery in mid-September, 60 years after the closure of the original distillery.
The spirit safe was made by the Forsyth Group from the town of Rothes in Moray, Scotland. It completed the 775 km journey to Tullamore with two of Forsyth’s specialist engineers who installed it at the heart of the still house. The 10 m³ glass and polished brass safe was designed in a triangular shape, an reference to Tullamore Dew’s triple-distilled, triple blend of three types of Irish whiskey, while also paying tribute to the Grant family’s coat of arms which features its own trio of crowns.
The introduction of the safe dates back to 1823 when duty laws were brought in to enforce taxation on distilleries. For this reason spirit safes feature a large elaborate padlock which casts back to a time when only an exciseman, who enforced tax collection, could unlock the safe. The spirit safe stills plays an important role in modern whiskey making.
Denise Devenny, Tullamore Distillery process leader said: “The installation of the spirit safe marks a momentous milestone in returning whiskey production to Tullamore. Installing the safe, we saw the heart of the distillery being put in place right between the hand crafted pot and malt stills. The safe is the most important element in the distillation process and is used to select the finest cut of spirits. There is no better sight than seeing pure spirit washing around the mouth of the collection bowl and disappearing to be matured in casks knowing that it will only re-appear many years later to be enjoyed by generations of whiskey connoisseurs.”
The new Tullamore Distillery will open this September bringing Tullamore Dew whiskey production back to the town after 60 years. Hitherto, the brand’s whiskey has been produced at Irish Distillers’ Midleton distillery in Cork. The annual production of the new distillery will be the equivalent of about 1.5m cases of triple distilled pot still and malt whiskeys.