The Irish Whiskey Academy, which was unveiled to the trade in September 2013, aims to improve understanding about the quality and provenance of Irish whiskey by teaching visitors about the production process, the flavour profile of the various styles available and the category’s history.
A range of courses are available with the first ‘Enthusiasts’ course taking place between December 1–2, 2014. Led by David McCabe, Irish Distillers’ international whiskey ambassador and first academy tutor, participants will have the opportunity to meet some of the distillery team, learn about brewing, fermentation, distillation and blending, watch a live cooperage demonstration and enjoy a tutored whiskey tasting with one of the production masters.
As part of the package, participants will stay in five star accommodation, visit one of the area’s finest restaurants and at the end of the course, they will receive a personalised bottle of Irish whiskey. The two-day course can be booked online at www.irishwhiskeyacademy.com and costs €1,199.
One-day ‘Discoverer’ courses, for those who have minimal knowledge about Irish whiskeys but want to learn more, are available from February 2015 while four-hour afternoon courses are available from November this year. Bookings for all courses can be made online at www.irishwhiskeyacademy.com.
Courses will be tailored to focus on specific brands within Irish Distillers’ family of whiskeys, which includes Jameson, the world’s best-selling Irish whiskey, and the brands that comprise Irish Distillers’ Prestige Collection, including the single pot still whiskeys of Midleton such as Green Spot and Redbreast, and the pinnacle of the Prestige Collection, Midleton Very Rare.
David Byrne, head of brand education & visitor centres at Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, said: “After years of planning, we’re delighted to finally be welcoming whiskey fans from around the world to the Irish Whiskey Academy in Midleton, the home of Irish Distillers. As the first of its kind, the academy heralds a new era of knowledge and understanding of Irish whiskey and we look forward to welcoming people to Midleton and helping them to discover the heritage and unique flavour profile that Irish whiskeys have to offer.”
ID international marketing director Simon Fay, since July 2014, said: “The company has been largely responsible for the resurgence and dynamic global growth of the Irish whiskey category in the last two decades and we’re fully committed to continuing this growth. The opening of the Irish Whiskey Academy is a clear demonstration of both our confidence in the future of Irish whiskey and our commitment to driving sustainable category growth through investment and innovation, and we’re hopeful that it will prove to be popular with spirits fans and trade professionals alike the world over.”