As the world raises a glass to Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, Tullamore D.E.W. brings Irish whiskey production back to its roots
Tullamore D.E.W. celebrates St Patrick’s Day 2014 with the arrival of four hand crafted copper stills, in preparation for the landmark opening of its new distillery in Tullamore in the heart of Ireland. This is the first public glimpse inside the distillery building and marks a major milestone in Tullamore’s history by bringing Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey production back to its roots after 60 years.
The copper pot stills are the heart of a whiskey distillery and play a vital role in creating Irish whiskey’s distinctive taste. Forged by the famous Forsyths Coppersmiths in the town of Rothes, the imposing stills were painstakingly hand crafted to replicate the originals, which were in use at the old Tullamore distillery until its closure in 1954. The custom-designed copper stills travelled 775 km in six separate pieces across the Irish Sea from Northern Scotland, before being riveted and welded together on arrival at the Distillery in Tullamore, County Offaly.
Commenting on the arrival of the stills, Independent distiller William Grant & Sons’ Chief Executive, Stella David said, “The arrival of the stills marks another step towards the return of the whiskey making tradition to Tullamore. We are excited to be marking this momentous event in a journey that has been almost 3 generations in the making”.
The rapid international growth of Tullamore D.E.W. sales worldwide has played a role in reviving Irish whiskey into the world’s fastest-growing spirit. As the second largest Irish whiskey brand in the world, with global growth of around 10% per year, Tullamore D.E.W. is a key contributor to the growth of Ireland’s exports.
Worldwide sales of Tullamore D.E.W. have doubled to almost 850,000 (9L) cases since 2005. With construction now well under way, the distillery ensures that family owned distiller William Grant & Sons can cope with demand as the brand continues to grow globally in the USA, Germany, Sweden and Central and Eastern Europe where Tullamore D.E.W is already a leading player. The annual production of the new distillery will be 1.84Mla of triple distilled pot still and malt whiskeys – the equivalent of about 1.5m cases.
About Tullamore D.E.W: known the world over for its smooth and gentle flavour, the combination of all three types of Irish whiskey, triple distilled creates a gentle yet complex flavour profile. The sweet softness of grain whiskey, soft spice from the pot still and citrus from the malt – this unique triple whiskey combination marks out Tullamore D.E.W. from all other Irish whiskeys. Tullamore D.E.W.’s award-winning range includes the Tullamore D.E.W. Original, Tullamore D.E.W. 12 Year Old Special Reserve and Tullamore D.E.W. 10 Year Old Single Malt.
About Tullamore: a medium sized town in County Offaly, in the Irish midlands with a population of 15,000, Tullamore is approximately 100km west of Dublin. Slieve Bloom, to the north is believed to be one of Europe’s oldest mountain ranges, and to the south is Lough Boora, a vast nature reserve. The town is connected to Dublin by the Grand Canal, an old merchant waterway linking the capital city with the mighty River Shannon in the West of Ireland. Tullamore D.E.W. is the town’s most famous export, dating back to 1829. Despite the original distillery’s closure in 1954 the town has maintained a proud association with Tullamore D.E.W. and the Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre, opened in 2012, has become a popular tourist attraction.
About Irish whiskey: The old Tullamore distillery closed in 1954, having been in the town for 120 years. This was at a time when Irish whiskey’s international trade had been decimated. From its heyday in the early 20th century when it was in huge global demand to being severely crippled first by Prohibition and then by Irish political instability and the Economic War. In the meantime Scotch, which was not handicapped by the same challenging trade environment, went from strength to strength and became the default import whisky of choice in large markets such as in North America and the UK. Irish whiskey was all but wiped out in the US and in fact may have been saved because of its use in Irish coffee, which become very popular on the West Coast through the legendary Buena Vista bar in San Francisco after a local journalist was served one in Shannon Airport. As the entire Irish whiskey production sector was rationalised Tullamore D.E.W. then went through a number of different ownerships. It became part of the William Grant & Sons family in 2010. Today Irish whiskey is the fastest growing sector in the spirits category, as a new generation of consumers discover its smooth taste and accessible character.
About William Grant & Sons: an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1887. Today, the global premium spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distils some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world’s most awarded single malt Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world’s third largest blended Scotch Grant’s® as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Hendrick’s® Gin, Sailor Jerry® and, Tullamore D.E.W.® Irish Whiskey. Click on www.williamgrant.com and www.tullamoredew.com for more information on the company and Tullamore D.E.W.