Irish whiskey distilleries attract more than 800,000 visitors!

Irish whiskey

Did you take a trip to the Emerald Isle last year? Irish whiskey distilleries welcomed a whopping 814,000 of us through their doors in 2017 – proving once again that our ardour for Ireland’s finest cannot be quelled.

2017 was a cracking year for the Irish whiskey category. A wealth of thrilling new brands burst onto the scene, global sales hit more than 100 million bottles (cementing its place as the world’s fastest-growing spirits category), and we visited the island’s distilleries in our droves. Footfall grew by 11% compared to the previous year, according to fresh data from the Irish Whiskey Association, with the majority of whiskey fans hailing from the US and the UK as well as Germany, France and northern Europe.

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Categories : Irish Whiskey
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Santa Teresa Rum: Turbulence, trust and transformation

Santa Teresa

It was once the powerhouse of South America, but over the last 20 years Venezuela has been subject to unrelenting economic and political crises. We discovered how its oldest rum distillery, Santa Teresa, became an engine of transformation for a country in chaos…

Venezuela is beleaguered and broken. The government has racked up gargantuan debts that it cannot afford to pay. The value of the country’s main commodity, oil, has nosedived. A national poll revealed that food shortages are so severe, the average Venezuelan living in extreme poverty lost 19 pounds in weight during 2016.  Those who can afford to leave are fleeing in their millions.

But in the midst of the crime, the corruption, and the humanitarian crises, there are glimmers of change, led by trailblazers like Santa Teresa. Since we couldn’t visit the Hacienda in person, the Hacienda came to us – well, to a beautiful house in the centre of Madrid – where Luis Viera Landaluce, Santa Teresa’s regional marketing manager, transported us through the estate’s 221-year history…

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Categories : Rum
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Kingsbarns Distillery: Inception, innovation and inclusivity

As Scotch whisky-maker Kingsbarns Distillery’s new-make spirit edges closer to coming of age, we catch up with co-founder William Wemyss to talk about the distillery’s progress, the Kingsbarns Founders’ Club and what innovation in whisky looks like today.

According to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) there are 123 whisky distilleries in Scotland – with at least 14 joining the ranks since 2013. One of those was the Wemyss Malts-backed Kingsbarns Distillery, which officially opened its doors in December 2014.

Located close to the Fife’s North Sea coast, the distillery is a converted farm, housed in buildings which date back to around 1800. The site is a compelling blend of old and new – similar in a way to how the fledgling distillery sits within the wider Scotch whisky industry, a sector heavy in terms of both history and the size of the businesses which largely control it.

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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Rosebank: What’s next for the iconic distillery?

Twenty-four hours on from one of the biggest Scotch whisky announcements of the year – challenged only by news of Port Ellen and Brora‘s revival a mere day before – we caught up with Ian Macleod‘s operations director, Gordon Doctor, for the 4-1-1 on Rosebank‘s comeback.

Before we go any further, we can confirm that at the time of writing no further closed distilleries have been lined up for a grand reopening (the way this week is going you just never know!). In any case, it’s safe to say the next few years will be definitive for Scotch whisky as this trinity of cult favourites fires up its (new) stills for the first time in decades.

Rumours of a Rosebank revival have been circulating for some time, so it was the identity of brand’s new owner that came as the biggest shock to most. Ian Macleod’s name was especially surprising, since until recently Rosebank’s previous owner Diageo held trademark rights, and Scottish Canals possessed the land it once resided on.

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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Dram good news! Rosebank to rise from the ashes

Rosebank

Tell ya what, it’s a great week to be a mothballed Scotch whisky distillery – Ian Macleod Distillers has announced it will be resurrecting beloved Lowland single malt Rosebank.

Yesterday the whisky world went wild at the news that Diageo would be dusting off the doormats at its silent Port Ellen and Brora sites. Now, in possibly the most epic “hold my dram” move of all time, the folk at Ian Macleod Distillers have revealed plans to revive cherished Falkirk-based distillery Rosebank, located on the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal.

Ian Macleod Distillers’ managing director, Leonard Russell, called the venture a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. “Rosebank is one of the most respected and sought-after single malts in the world,” he enthused. “As such, this is an extraordinarily exciting project for us.”

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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Port Ellen and Brora to reopen by 2020 – yes, really!

*MEGA WHISKY NEWS KLAXON*

The rumours are true! Two of Scotland’s most iconic closed whisky distilleries, Port Ellen and Brora, are to be brought back to life by 2020, to the jubilation of whisky geeks the world over.

It hardly needs stating that these most beloved of Scotch whisky distilleries – Port Ellen on Islay, a few miles from Lagavulin, and Brora on the remote eastern coast of Sutherland, adjacent to Clynelish – have garnered a cult-like following in the 34 years since their closure; their highly sought-after bottlings (which often command four-digit prices on the secondary market) an integral part of the Diageo Special Releases programme.

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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Tamdhu Distillery: A tale of total transformation

Don’t call it a mere comeback: Tamdhu Distillery is restored, refreshed and ready to storm the single malt Scotch whisky scene…

Tamdhu Distillery has a long and storied history – and it is a tale that is both engaging and comprehensive. From its beginnings in 1896, the Sherry cask-focused Speyside distillery has attained success, relevance and significance, but also fell foul to long periods of closure when the stills fell silent. Most recently it was mothballed by Macallan-maker Edrington in 2010, but then re-entered production January 2012 under the ownership of Ian Macleod Distillers.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Isle of Raasay Distillery opens for business!

Take a peek inside the Isle of Raasay Distillery, the latest Scotch whisky-maker to open its doors…

Most people have never heard of the Isle of Raasay. Shaped like a wisp of smoke, the Inner Hebridean islet lies off the east coast of Skye, tucked between the much larger island and the mainland. But its little-known status looks likely to change, among whisky fans at least – the island now has its own distillery, and it’s one that looks set to top those must-visit lists.

Raasay’s appeal is as obvious as it is alluring. The island’s permanent population stands at 170. It’s got rugged outcrops, forested areas, remote beaches. It’s off the beaten track, accessible only by boat from another island. And it has the warmest of welcomes from locals and distillery team alike – even if the weather isn’t as keen to oblige.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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