Irish Whiskey Mentors

Irish Whiskey Mentors

Help on hand for new entrants to this fast growing sector

News | 02 Dec 2016 | Issue 140 | By Rupert Wheeler

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The Irish Whiskey Association has launched a landmark new mentoring programme, which will bring established global players in the Irish whiskey industry together with new entrants to the market. The aim of this unique new mentoring programme is to ensure that new entrants to the category have access to the information and support they need to produce high quality Irish whiskey that global consumers expect.

The Irish whiskey market is the fastest growing spirits category in the world and has grown by an impressive 200 per cent in the last decade. This unique programme will see established industry leaders mentor new entrants in the market and provide them with the necessary support and guidance to ensure the success not only of their new businesses but also the future and growth of the Irish whiskey category. The programme will kick off with a workshop hosted by the Irish Whiskey Association where industry experts from a number of companies will share their knowledge on issues such as production, health and safety, licensing requirements, branding and route to market.

The programme will consist of three further stages and participants will be able to access a new one stop shop online portal to help them plan their business. Stages three and four will focus on active mentoring where mentor companies such as Irish Distillers and Bushmills will be paired with new entrants. These stages will involve planning, design, construction and commissioning. The last stage will focus on production, highlighting the importance of ensuring that the high quality premium nature of the category is maintained.

Speaking at the launch, Miriam Mooney head of the Irish Whiskey Association said, "This is a unique programme which will see industry leaders support new market entrants and showcases the collegiality amongst industry and members of the Irish Whiskey Association. The mentor companies will share information, expertise and knowledge with new entrants enabling them to plan and succeed in the Irish whiskey business whilst at the same time upholding the integrity of the brand".

A participant in the new mentoring programme, Bernard Walsh chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association and CEO of Walsh Distillery said, "The Irish Whiskey industry is at a pivotal moment in its history. We know that there is huge consumer appetite for our products globally, we only have to look to Scotland with 108 distilleries to see what's possible. This initiative is very welcome and the mentor companies are to be applauded for investing their expertise in new projects, to ensure high standards are maintained."

Chivas Brothers plans for a new plant in Kilmalid, Dumbarton

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, has announced its intention to invest in a new state-of-the-art facility over the next three years at its Kilmalid site in Dumbarton.

Testament to the company's firm commitment to Scotland, the £40 million investment will deliver a world class operation with outstanding performance.

Plans include a bottling hall and office set for completion by the end of 2019, which will be newly designed and purpose built, providing a more integrated and engaging environment for all Chivas Brothers employees.

The proposal is a response to an extensive review of the company's current operations and would see the closure of the Paisley site in three years' time.

The transfer of activities from Paisley to Kilmalid is scheduled to start in 2018 and by the end of 2019 all Chivas Brothers employees based in Paisley would move over to work at the company's Kilmalid site.

The new integrated operation will build on Chivas Brothers' rich 80 year history in Dumbarton.

Laurent Lacassagne, chairman and CEO at Chivas Brothers, says, "Our proposal is the next step towards achieving our leadership ambition and is a clear signal that we see a strong future ahead for both the industry and our business. This £40 million investment will enhance and improve our operations

and support the development of our global and iconic brands.

"This is a project of significant size and scale for Chivas Brothers which is why which we are announcing our proposal three years in advance. We want to provide ample opportunity to manage the transition of our business effectively and for our employees to adjust and adapt to working from a new site." The company is at the beginning of a three year process and aims to start the transfer of operations and activities from Paisley to Kilmalid from 2018, creating an integrated operation by the end of 2019.

The Lakes Distillery offers the chance to be a stillman for a day

The Lakes Distillery has unveiled an unusual gift experience which enables the lucky recipient to join the award-winning distillery team and take part in the magical art (and science) of whisky making at its idyllic site near Bassenthwaite in the Lake District.

The Stillman Masterclass Experience gives participants exclusive access to the distillery and its closely guarded processes, literally entitling them to be a stillman for a day and be a part of the creation of The Lakes Single Malt, which will be available to buy from next year.

Each 'stillman' will don a Lakes Distillery body warmer and be made to feel part of the team, contributing to the craft of whisky creation by milling and working the mash tun as well as operating the beautiful copper stills, named Susan and Rachel. Each participant will even get to pour the young spirit into one of the oak casks that are stored in the atmospheric distillery warehouse, before leaving it to mature.

As an historic record of the contribution to the distillery, the participant's initials will be recorded in the official logbook and each will also receive a certificate signed by the distillery team to commemorate their day being part of whisky history.

The experience includes lunch in the award-winning bistro at the distillery and each visiting stillman will take home a 70cl bottle of choice and a 5cl bottle of the newly made spirit from that week's production. The Lakes Distillery's Stillman Masterclass Experience is available for those aged 18 years or over and costs £195.00 per person. Those who would like to make the experience into a Stillman Stay can enjoy chic rooms and a fabulous Cumbrian breakfast at the nearby Trout Hotel, a gorgeous riverside gem in the pretty market town of Cockermouth.

For more information and to purchase please visit:

SMWS relaunches in France

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has relaunched in France with an exclusive party in Paris, and announced further developments to make its whisky and events available to more fans across Europe.

The Society staged a 'Grand Renaissance Party' in Paris at new partner bar, Beaucoup, to announce the increased range of whiskies and tasting events now available to single malt enthusiasts in France, and across Europe.

The event was attended by members, media and local influencers who sampled a hand-picked selection of rare Society single cask whiskies across the 12 SMWS flavour profiles and food pairings. The event also included the reveal of an exclusive cask, 29.195 Charred Staves and Black Dragon Tea, which is only available to members in France.

The Society has also established four other new partner bars in Paris where a selection of its whiskies will be available.

The SMWS France branch will be led by newly appointed chief ambassadors Richard Liogier and Serge Lacombe, with support from three ambassadors, Cyril Mald, Alexandre Vingtier and William Mercier who will host Society tastings at partner bars in Paris.

Commenting on the Society's increased activity in France, international commercial manager Mark van der Vijver, says, "We were delighted to celebrate our 'renaissance' in France with our party at Beacoup in Paris. France is one of the biggest whisky markets in the world and this event is the first step in an exciting new chapter in our history here."
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