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Walsh Whiskey Distillery Joins Rush in New Irish Whiskey Outlets

At a recent event looking at the future of the whiskey industry on this island nation, The Irish Whiskey Association had much to celebrate given the number of new or projected distilleries coming online in coming years. This forecasting has generally held true, as we’ve witnessed the opening and groundbreaking for distilleries across the land. Joining this pack now is the recently opened Walsh Whiskey Distillery in Royal Oak, County Carlow.

Walsh Whiskey Distillery is the dream of Irish whiskey couple Bernard & Rosemary Walsh. They are best known to Irish whiskey drinkers as the duo behind The Irishman and Writers Tears, and from their new €25 million facility on the banks of a river they will distill these whiskies and welcome tourists as they look to expand their footprint in the whiskey market.

Walsh Whiskey Distillery

“After 17 years in business, the opening of our own distillery is both the fulfilment of Rosemary and my own dreams and a game changing moment for the company,” said Bernard Walsh in a statement. “We are now in control of our destiny and have the capacity, variety and relationships to play our part in the continued revival of Irish whiskey which is one of this country’s great traditions.”

Plans call for Walsh Whiskey, at capacity, to be producing an equivalent of 650,000 cases worth of pot still, grain, and malt whiskies using two distilling lines (pot still and column still). Put another way, this capacity is equal to 10% of global Irish whiskey exports from 2013. To expand upon the already developed whiskeys, the founders and 50% shareholder Illva Saronno SpA of Milan (owners of drinks brands Disaronno and Tia Maria) have sourced a great variety of barrels and butts for maturation, including

[B]ourbon barrels from Kentucky (USA); sherry butts from Jerez (Spain); Rum barrels from Saint Lucia (Caribbean) and Marsala wine casks from Illva Saronno’s own Florio Marsala Winery in Sicily (Italy).

As part of its aging program, the distillery plans to keep building, adding two new maturation warehouses with capacity for 60,000 barrels starting in 2017. Its new visitor center, in the meantime, is open now, and it is believed it will eventually play host to some 75,000 tourists a year.

“That we can do this in a place like Royal Oak which is blessed with an abundance of the best natural ingredients as well as being a place of beauty and tranquillity is idyllic,” added Bernard Walsh. “We look forward to sharing our whiskeys and Royal Oak with the world.”

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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