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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Cooley

Irish whiskey shifts 100 million bottles a year!

The world has got a taste for Irish whiskey! With 2016 sales soaring by 11.3%, we explore the state of the market, from the new distilleries, to who is actually…

The world has got a taste for Irish whiskey! With 2016 sales soaring by 11.3%, we explore the state of the market, from the new distilleries, to who is actually drinking it all…

The Irish Spirits Association has issued the results of its first-ever market report. And it makes for very interesting reading. Even though alcohol consumption itself in Ireland has been steadily falling (take that, lazy stereotype) exports of Irish spirits are growing at an ever-increasing rate.

“This is the first-ever industry and market report issued by the Irish Spirits Association and it comes at a time when our sector is undergoing vibrant growth and has a lot to be proud of,” said John Harte, chairman of the Irish Spirits Association. “Overall, the Irish spirits industry is delivering more exports, more jobs and unprecedented GDP growth. We are on target to exceed the Government’s FoodWise 2025 targets.”

As you can see from this empirical evidence, people are drinking Irish.

There’s no place like home…

Irish people are not just spectators in the great Irish spirits revival. The report reveals that the majority of spirits consumed in Ireland were made there. Purchases in the off-trade made up two-thirds of all sales. The stats also show that 1.3 million people in the Republic of Ireland consumed a spirit drink in 2016 (welcome back, lazy stereotype). That’s a lot of money us Irish are putting back into our own economy.

The strength of Irish agriculture has also been a key component of this story. Irish farmers sold 85,000 tonnes of Irish malted barley and 316 million litres of fresh cream to the Irish whisky industry in 2016. Sourced from 46,000, patriotic, green, white and gold dairy cows.

Despite this, over the past 10 years the overall consumption of spirits in Ireland has fallen by 19.2%. Is anyone keeping score with that lazy stereotype? Ireland’s current success is ultimately due to the world’s appetite for Irish-made spirit. A trend that seemingly shows no signs of dissipating…

Irish spirits sales are booming

There’s no place like abroad…

The Irish Spirits Association report revealed that, in 2016, the total value of Irish spirits exports increased by 6.1%. Gin is currently the spirit taking the Irish market by storm. It’s the fastest-growing spirit category among Irish consumers, growing by 31.6% in 2016. Similar levels of growth are being reported for the first half of 2017. But it’s the value of Irish whiskey exports to all international markets which remains unparalleled.

According to the report, sales of Ireland’s GI spirits – Irish whiskey, Irish cream and poitín – totalled nearly 16 million cases (200 million bottles) globally in 2016. Irish cream had a torrid last decade, but 2016 saw a slight return to growth. Volumes increased to 7.241m in 2016, compared to 7.197 in 2015.

Global sales of Irish whiskey increased by 11.3% alone in 2016, reaching a huge 8.7 million cases, (that’s more than 100 million bottles). Exports accounted for 8.2 million cases of that figure, itself an 11.8% annual increase. Premium Irish whiskey recorded growth of 135% in the last five years. And the combined value of sales of all premium, super- and ultra-premium Irish whiskey grew by a similar percentage, exceeding €330 million in 2016.

Gaining ground

Ireland, however, is not the current leaders of the whiskey export market. That distinction belongs to the United States. Its overseas case sales shot up more than 17.6% by 3.66 million. Yet Ireland placed second on this particular leader board, selling an extra 521,000 cases abroad – an improvement of 3.4%. They’re closing in!

All jokes aside, this rate of total overall growth means Irish whiskey remains the world’s fastest expanding spirits category. The current export target, set by The Irish Whiskey Association’s ‘Vision for Whiskey’, is 12 million cases by the year 2020. But the current growth rates suggest it will comfortably exceed expectations.

Pour another one, then…

Whiskey tourism is the best tourism

The Irish whiskey trade shows no signs of letting up. And the increase in the total number of distilleries in Ireland demonstrates this point. This is a key contributor to the industry’s success. It not only expands the range and type of Irish whiskey available to the consumer. But simultaneously provided jobs, infrastructure and tourism potential.

It wasn’t that long ago that Ireland had only four operational whiskey distilleries. Bushmills, Cooley, Kilbeggan and Midleton. Since then, 14 new distilleries have been built. Including the likes of Dingle, Blackwater, Teeling, Tullamore, Slane Castle and Rademon Estate. That takes the total number of operational distilleries throughout Ireland to 18. And plans are afoot for another 14.

Whisky-lovers have taken full advantage of the change in fortunes. In what will inevitably be termed at some point an ‘Irish Holiday’, whiskey distillery visitor centres in Ireland reported a total of 733,000 visitors in 2016. Up an incredible 12.2% from 2015. That’s already the equivalent of one-sixth of the population. And The Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy aims to grow this figure to 1.4 million by 2020.

Exciting times ahead for Irish whiskey…

With the fastest-growing spirit in the world, the future of Irish whiskey is looking very bright. The excitement is genuinely palpable. And the potential for new and current producers to implement change and produce a variety of volumes and styles is limitless. Ireland doesn’t have the litany of established distilleries Scotch has. This means there is space – space to build, to innovate, and to enjoy!

William Lavelle summarises that the report “paints a bright picture of a dynamic industry with a vast economic footprint,”. Adding, “the spirits sector is a major employer and a significant supporter of Irish farmers. It is an industry that can deliver even more exports, more jobs and more domestic sourcing if we’re allowed”.

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Whisky Advent Day 22: Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey

Just three days until Christmas and, including today’s, just three drams left in The Whisky Advent Calendar. Slightly bittersweet perhaps, with Christmas being completely awesome but having to say goodbye…

Whisky Advent Calendar

Just three days until Christmas and, including today’s, just three drams left in The Whisky Advent Calendar. Slightly bittersweet perhaps, with Christmas being completely awesome but having to say goodbye to a new whisky every day… Fortunately Drinks by the Dram have thought of that, and have a range of dram-filled Christmas Crackers too!

For now some fine drams remain, however, with another Irish whiskey to enjoy behind window 22 courtesy of those Teeling boys. First their family gave us the independent Cooley distillery (producing the excellent Connemara Peated single malt and Greenore single grain, for example), purchased by Beam in 2011, and now in 2015 they’ve opened the first whisky distillery in Dublin for 125 years!

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Irish Whiskey – Everything You Need To Know! (Part 3)

Blimey, it’s Friday already! A Valentine’s Day Friday, no less! Well, today we only have eyes for delicious Irish Whiskey as we move onto the third and final instalment of…

Ireland

Blimey, it’s Friday already! A Valentine’s Day Friday, no less! Well, today we only have eyes for delicious Irish Whiskey as we move onto the third and final instalment of this bumper blog post.

Back at the start of Part 1, I mentioned Teeling Whiskey Company‘s recently confirmed plans to build a new distillery in Dublin, the first in 125 years. This post will cover this and many other projects that could see the number of distilleries in Ireland double, treble, or perhaps even quadruple!

First though, I’ll try to briefly run through some other news and developments, starting with the fact that in 2011 Beam Inc. bought Cooley, introducing another big player alongside the giants of Pernod Ricard and Diageo and leaving Ireland without an independent distillery once again (albeit briefly…).

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Irish Whiskey – Everything You Need To Know! (Part 2)

Yesterday, I began my serialised guide to Irish Whiskey with a rundown of its turbulent history through some difficult times, becoming the most popular spirit in the world before nearly…

Ireland

Yesterday, I began my serialised guide to Irish Whiskey with a rundown of its turbulent history through some difficult times, becoming the most popular spirit in the world before nearly disappearing altogether in the 20th century! Fortunately, it has been on a road to recovery in the last few decades and is now thriving.

Despite this resurgence, which has made Irish Whisky the fastest growing drinks category in the world, Scotch whisky still comfortably sells 15 times more cases worldwide, and has about as many times more active distilleries too. With Scotch whisky’s dominance since the 1930s, there’s perhaps understandably still some confusion, even amongst whisk(e)y enthusiasts, surrounding the styles of Irish whiskey available.

Fret not, however! In this second instalment I’ll be looking at each style in turn, complete with a number of yummy examples of each!

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Irish Whiskey – Everything You Need To Know! (Part 1)

Last week Teeling Whiskey Company (who have the tagline ‘The Spirit of Dublin’) officially announced that they’re set to bring whiskey distillation back to Dublin, something that’s been in the…

Ireland

Last week Teeling Whiskey Company (who have the tagline ‘The Spirit of Dublin’) officially announced that they’re set to bring whiskey distillation back to Dublin, something that’s been in the pipeline for some time now. Jameson, meanwhile, are already looking ahead to St. Patrick’s Day with a new limited edition packaging design (with the tagline ‘The Spirit of Dublin’ – well, they couldn’t let those pesky newcomers cause anybody to forget Jameson’s own Dublin roots, could they?!). These are interesting times over on the Emerald Isle, and it seems like an ideal moment to shine a massive ol’ spotlight on Irish Whiskey, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now.

So, what’s it all about? What else is new? Herein lies all you need to know about the fastest growing spirits category in the world; from the history, to the styles of whiskey available, through to more recent developments and news. This is the tale of the rise and struggle and rise and rise and monumental collapse and hanging on in there and rise of delicious Irish whiskey!

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Win an Irish Whiskey Getaway for Two

Chestibor Chihuahua has brought down his green hat and lucky four leaf clover collar and that can only mean one thing; St Patrick’s day is nearly upon us! With just…

Chestibor in his lucky green hat

Chestibor Chihuahua has brought down his green hat and lucky four leaf clover collar and that can only mean one thing; St Patrick’s day is nearly upon us!

With just a few weeks to go we’ve teamed up with Cooley distillery to offer one lucky winner the chance to visit the distillery with their better half and enjoy two days of wining, dining, whiskeying and general good times..

We reckon you’ll love this; it’s a great prize for any whiskey lover, and it’s a brilliant opportunity to indulge in an experience you’ll be talking about for years to come.

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The Winner of the Cooley Competition

Right, our fantastic Cooley Competition is officially over. We’ve drawn a close to the prize draw that some critics have described as “the greatest competition since the Ancient Greeks first…

Chestibor, you proud, noble beast

Right, our fantastic Cooley Competition is officially over. We’ve drawn a close to the prize draw that some critics have described as “the greatest competition since the Ancient Greeks first started running around and lobbing objects in Olympia.” The prize shone like a beacon on our site, attracting the myriad Irish whiskey lovers with promises of a trip to Ireland, personalised bottles of whiskey, wining and dining, two nights in a luxurious hotel and more!

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Cooley Whiskey Competition

Right, the word on our fantastic, once in a lifetime Cooley competition…   There are just 88 chances left to enter, and only a few days remaining (the competition closes…

Ardbeg at The Worx

Right, the word on our fantastic, once in a lifetime Cooley competition

 

There are just 88 chances left to enter, and only a few days remaining (the competition closes at 6pm on the 1st August 2010).

 

To those of you who have entered: “good luck”, and for those who haven’t: “hurry, for heaven’s sake, hurry!”

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Cooley Irish Whiskey Competition

It’s high time for our next competition. As you may know, 2010 marks our 25th year in business and we really are terribly excited about it. Wouldn’t you be? Think…


It’s high time for our next competition. As you may know, 2010 marks our 25th year in business and we really are terribly excited about it. Wouldn’t you be? Think about it, 25 years… that’s older than some adults! We thought it might be older than the world’s oldest cat, but it’s not. The world’s oldest cat was Creme Puff, who sadly passed away shortly after her 38th birthday.

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