Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey toasts the opening of the Tullamore Distillery
$50 million investment sees production return home after 60 years
Yesterday, William Grant & Sons Ltd., the independent family-owned distiller and owner of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey, officially opened its new $50 million state-of-the-art whiskey distillery in Tullamore, Co Offaly, Ireland. After two years of construction, Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine & Defence, Simon Coveney T.D. officially opened the new distillery by turning on the Spirit Safe to let the first spirit flow from the newly installed stills. This milestone marked the return of whiskey production to Tullamore 60 years after the original distillery closed its doors.
The Tullamore Distillery is the first new distillery to be constructed on a greenfield site in Ireland in over 100 years and is one of the most significant investments to date in the resurgent Irish whiskey sector. It is also one of the largest projects undertaken by William Grant & Sons. Located on a 58 acre site in Clonminch on the outskirts of Tullamore, the Distillery draws on the finest natural spring water from the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Tullamore Distillery will be capable of producing the equivalent of 1.5 million cases of Tullamore D.E.W. annually.
The distillery was built to meet the growing international demand for Tullamore D.E.W., which is now the second largest Irish whiskey in the world. Commenting at the official opening ceremony Stella David, Chief Executive of William Grant & Sons Ltd said, “We are delighted to celebrate the opening of Tullamore Distillery. This new facility will secure our future production demands for the rest of the century as Irish whiskey embarks on its most exciting chapter yet. Distilling began in Tullamore 185 years ago and this is a significant day for both the town and Tullamore D.E.W. as the opportunities now open to the category are unprecedented. We are committed to Tullamore D.E.W. and are focused on building the brand and investing for the long-term. ”
Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine Simon Coveney said “Irish Whiskey is a star of the Irish food and drink industry and the fastest growing spirit on world markets. Today I am again impressed by the confidence of the companies investing €1 billion in Irish whiskey over a period of ten years.
“I was delighted to turn the sod on the site of this distillery in historic Tullamore and today, the first liquid gold flows into casks for skilful maturation with the promise of a premium product and great visitor experiences. This is something special. Government is committed to protecting the reputation and identity of Irish Whiskey, produced by an industry committed to working together to further expand exports of a sustainable, quality, uniquely Irish product.“
The Tullamore Distillery combines William Grant and Sons’ 127 years of distilling knowledge and expertise with world leading innovation and technology. The Distillery features four hand crafted copper stills, designed to resemble the original stills from the old Tullamore distillery, six brew house fermenters each with a 34,000 litre capacity and warehouse storage for 100,000 casks.
Another special guest at the opening was Tom McCabe (84) a former employee of the original distillery who now lives in New Jersey. Tom spent three years working as a Distiller in the distillery on Bury Quay in Tullamore town and was today reunited with his brother Fergal and sister Una, the first time all three siblings had been together in Tullamore since 1952. At the event Tom traded stories and memories with another former distillery worker and Tullamore resident, Paddy Lowbridge (90).
Caspar MacRae, Global Brand Director, Tullamore D.E.W. also commented, “In many ways this is a ‘Parting Glass’ moment for the brand as we toast achievements of the past and raise a glass to an exciting new chapter in our future. This development has been met with great anticipation in our markets all around the world.”
To commemorate the rising of the Distillery, Tullamore D.E.W. unveiled the very limited release of 2,014 bottles of Tullamore D.E.W. Celebratory Phoenix Single Batch an exclusive expression of the Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix range. The Phoenix is a highly appropriate symbol for Tullamore and Tullamore D.E.W.. It is featured on the town’s coat of arms honouring the courageous rebuilding of the town after it was largely destroyed by fire following a devastating hot air balloon accident in 1785 and is a symbol of resilience, optimism and progress; attributes that have led to the opening of Tullamore Distillery.