The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has congratulated Clonakilty Distillery on becoming the 23rd operational Irish whiskey distillery on the island of Ireland.
Clonakilty Distillery has this week inaugurated its new facility in County Cork, following a €10 million investment.
As well as a triple-distilled single pot still whiskey, the distillery will also produce Minke Gin, derived from whey and infused with a hand-foraged coastal botanical called rock samphire.
The distillery has commenced whiskey distillation and has opened the doors to a visitor experience, expected to attract up to 35,000 visitors annually. The distillery also boasts a gin school and The Whale’s Tail bistro.
IWA head William Lavelle said: “We are delighted to see Clonakilty Distillery open its doors and commence production of Irish whiskey.”
“It’s a welcome addition to Irish whiskey distilling, as the 23rd operational distillery on the island of Ireland, and the second distillery to commence operations this year.
“With its visitor experiences, Clonakilty Distillery also contributes greatly to the Irish whiskey tourism offering along the Wild Atlantic Way.
“Last year we saw 923,000 tourists visit Irish whiskey distillery visitor centres across the country. We expect this number to grow again in 2019. Clonakilty Distillery will play a strong role in driving this growth, educating Irish and overseas visitors on the heritage and innovation of today’s booming Irish whiskey industry.”
According to IWA figures, 2018 marked the first year that Irish whiskey sales broke the 10 million case barrier since before prohibition in the US in the 1920s.
The Clonakilty Distillery opening comes after Quintessential Brands last month inaugurated a €10 million facility for its The Dublin Liberties Distillery unit.
Located in Dublin, the distillery is said to combine traditional distillation practices with the latest in modern technologies, and features a natural spring water source on site to be used in the distilling process. Its whiskey portfolio includes The Dubliner and The Dublin Liberties.
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