Tag Archives: Lough Gill Distillery

Musings on the Sazerac take-over of Lough Gill Distillery, Co Sligo, Ireland

Great News

Lough Gill Distillery c/oTheSpiritsBusiness

First off – Sazerac taking over Lough Gill Distillery in the wonderful scenery of County Sligo, Ireland is fantastic news for Irish Whiskey as a whole.

It shows the confidence a large international player has in the future potential of Irish Whiskey for them to lay down roots & invest in that future.

Paddy Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Celebrity Brands

I’ve read a lot of guff about Celebrity Brands – a lot of it negative – yet any company not involved in Celebrity Brands at the moment is missing out on the current zeitgeist that’s witnessing massive growth in the category.

Interestingly both Paddy & Michael Collins Irish Whiskey are Celebrity Brands.

The fact those celebrities are historic – and dead – might make them easier to market & handle over current living celebrities.

Nonetheless Sazerac have already boosted sales of Paddy Irish Whiskey since acquiring the brand from Irish Distillers & I see no reason Michael Collins Irish Whiskey cannot follow suite.

Michael Collins Blend c/othewhiskeynut

A sense of place?

Reams of marketing PR & fawning bloggers big up the idea a sense of place is integral to the quality & taste of whiskey.

Outside of a few micro distilleries practicing farm to glass single estate distilling – even then the taste differences can be miniscule – I just don’t buy it.

The original Paddy Irish Whisky was distilled in Cork for the Cork Distillery Company. CDC in turn was merged into Irish Distillers who continued to produce Paddy at New Midleton Distillery. Lough Gill Distillery will now fly the flag.

Will any of the growing band of consumers notice this?

I doubt it.

The brand changes & morphs through time. What it tasted like in 1877 may bear no resemblance to what it is now – or in the future – but it’s still Paddy Irish Whiskey. All that history & rich legacy is part of it – but history & legacy are not actual tasting notes that can be ascertained on drinking a whiskey.

Lough Gill Trio c/othewhiskeynut

Innovation

I’m not expecting much innovation at Lough Gill.

What I am expecting is building on the solidity of both Paddy & Michael Collins Irish Whiskey to expand & grow in both the local and international markets.

Athrú Irish Whiskey is a premium brand currently using sourced aged stock for their lovely product. It’s going to be a bit of a wait before any Lough Gill distillate hits the market under that brand name.

The future

The future looks bright for Irish Whiskey – even brighter for Lough Gill Distillery. Developments at the facility will be eagerly awaited.

I wish all the team at Lough Gill Distillery much future success.

Sláinte

Cork Distillery background here.

Paddy Whiskey history here.

Sazerac buys Lough Gill Distillery here.

Celebrity Brands boost sales here.

Irish Whiskey sales set to overtake Scotch here.

Sazerac Brand list here.

Whiskey Live Dublin 2019

This years Whiskey Live Dublin show marked a quantitative shift in the fortunes of Irish Whiskey.

The number of new releases on display for the first time was breathtaking – and a bit of a challenge to appreciate in only one session.

Not only new releases though.

New whiskey companies were also in attendance. Companies previously inhabiting websites with ‘under construction’ on the display page were now in full flow offering tangible products to taste.

My game plan was clear – try as many of them as time – and my well being – permitted.

In no particular order – this is what I found.

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21C Edition 2 c/othewhiskeynut

The Celtic Whiskey Shop had again done a marvelous job collating all 16 Irish Whiskey Distilleries with mature stock into this fabulous blend. More flavoursome & complex than last years.

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Hinch core range c/othewhiskeynut

I did a Hinch vertical – one of the new companies currently building their distillery. The peated piqued my palate – but the Small Batch pleased too.

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Irish Proud Blend c/othewhiskeynut

Another new company – Proud Irish – had 2 offerings of a rather easy entry market style. Perhaps more for the tourists?

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Killowen Rum Cask c/othewhiskeynut

Killowen impressed with this Dark Rum Cask Blend. Their new make wasn’t bad either!

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A pair of Gelston’s c/othewhiskeynut

The Gelston’s range from Halewood was far too extensive for a vertical tasting so the 5yo Sherry Cask sufficed. Word of a new distillery too!

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A Smokey Silkie! c/othewhiskeynut

Yes! The return of smoky dry peat to Irish Whiskey was greatly appreciated.

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The Bridge c/othewhiskeynut

As was this sweet yet nuanced single grain single cask first whiskey offering from Lough Ree in Longford.

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Lough Gill Trio c/othewhiskeynut

Lough Gill in Sligo displayed their trio of exquisitely aged single malts showing varying finishing styles.

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Welcome to the Renaissance! c/othewhiskeynut

Irish Whiskey has moved on from simply revival – the renaissance is here – courtesy of Teeling’s new 18yo offering.

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Sade & Bushell 5yo c/othewhiskeynut

Connacht’s new 5yo was a bit too sweet for my palate – but the 12yo version in the background hit the spot.

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W.D.O’Connell c/othewhiskeynut

Despite the depth & complexity of the 17yo – the peat of Bill Phil won out on these fabulous whiskeys from W.D.O’Connell.

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Celtic Cask 25 c/othewhiskeynut

Staying on a peated path – Celtic Cask 25 didn’t disappoint.

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Egan’s Legacy c/othewhiskeynut

The latest 16yo Egan’s Legacy was more of a traditional style.

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The Liberator c/othewhiskeynut

While newcomers Wayward Spirits offered their dark & brooding port cask finished Liberator Blend.

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McConnells of Belfast c/othewhiskeynut 

I was pleased to hear the Crumlin Gaol Distillery is still in the mix with this very well presented blended whisky – minus the ‘e’.

It also marked my final tasting at the show. Although on the train home I did crack open a miniature & sang away to myself!

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Pogues Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut

 

‘I am going, I am going, Where the streams of whiskey are flowing.’

Well the streams of whiskey are certainly flowing from the stills of Irish Whiskey Distilleries!

Slàinte

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