Irish whiskey: Sky's the limit

21 November, 2014

Finally there is William Grant – owner of brands including Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Hendrick’s and Monkey Shoulder – investing heavily in Tullamore. The impressive new distillery on a 58-acre site will produce initially 1.83m litres of pure alcohol and will be capable of producing 1.5m cases of whiskey from its four copper stills, six fermenters, each with a 34,000-l capacity, and warehousing for 100,000 casks. A grain distillery is part of phase two.

It will be many years before this distillery will produce all the whiskey that goes in the Tullamore Dew brand, if that is the intention. At present the grain and pot still comes from Midleton and the malt from Bushmills. Tullamore Dew is the number two Irish whiskey brand with more than 850,000 case sales, notably in central Europe, the US and the Nordics.

It is the company’s intention to produce new expressions and, to celebrate the opening, it has produced a Tullamore Dew limited-edition Celebratory Phoenix Single Batch, which comprises 2,014 bottles and features all three types of Irish whiskey – malt, pot still and grain – matured in bourbon and oloroso sherry casks before being finished in virgin oak casks. It is non-chill filtered and retails for around €89.95.

TD global brand ambassador Caspar Macrae, says: “William Grant is all about trading up to a more premium offering. The consumer will pay more for our products.

“We see huge potential in the US and we are looking to double the size of sales over the next five years. We are looking specifically at California, New York, Illinois, Florida and Texas. “We are talking about a bright future, yet to be defined,” says Macrae.

With the likes of Irish Distillers, William Grant and the Teelings leading the charge, the future of Irish whiskey does indeed appear to be bright.

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