L Mulligan Grocers – Irish Whiskey Bar of Year
L Mulligan Grocers, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, won the Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year at the inaugural Irish Whiskey Awards held at the Jameson Distillery in Dublin’s Smithfield recently.
15 October 2013
Redbreast12 Year-Old Cask Strength produced at Midleton Distillery, Co Cork, won the Overall Irish Whiskey of the Year Award.
The other seven awards presented on the night went to:
Best Blended Whiskey Under €50: Writers Tears Pot Still Blend from Writers Tears Whiskey, Co Carlow
Best Blended Whiskey Over €50: Midleton Very Rare 2013 produced at Midleton Distillery, Co Cork
Best Single Pot Still Whiskey: Redbreast 15 Year-Old produced at Midleton Distillery, Co Cork
Best Irish Single Cask Whiskey: Tyrconnell 14 Year-Old Cask 204/96 produced at Cooley Distillery, Co Louth
Best Irish Cask Strength Whiskey: Redbreast 12 Year-Old Cask Strength produced at Midleton Distillery, Co Cork
Best Irish Single Malt Whiskey: Bushmills 21 Year-Old produced at Bushmills Distillery, Co Antrim
Irish Poitin Of The Year: Teeling Whiskey Company Poitin produced at Cooley Distillery, Co Louth.
The whiskeys were nominated, tasted and voted on by members of the public, the Celtic Whiskey Club and the Irish Whiskey Society. Various representatives from the whiskey world including distilleries, noted whiskey bars, suppliers and whiskey society club members attended the event. Guest speaker for the evening was Willie McCarter, Chairman of the Irish Spirits Association and advisor to Cooley and Beam Global.
“With four of the largest spirits companies in the world now selling Irish whiskey and many new distilleries coming onstream, the Irish whiskey industry is at the beginning of a new Golden Age,” he commented.
“If all companies involved in Irish whiskey strive to maintain the excellent quality standards achieved so far, the current annual Irish whiskey sales of six million cases could become the Scottish volume of 90 million cases per annum within the next 20 to 30 years. Not many industries in Ireland can look forward to such a future. Let us keep our fingers crossed!”
The Irish whiskey industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years both nationally and internationally. Exports are booming worldwide and there’s huge investment being put into the industry. Sales in the US alone for 2012 saw Irish Whiskey sales grow by 22.5% making it the fastest-growing spirits category in the country. There’s a strong interest in Irish whiskey particularly in the US, Russia and Eastern Europe. Competition in the sector is strong with the three global forces Pernod-Ricard (IDL), Diageo and Beam Global actively increasing and protecting market share in the US and globally.
Distilleries such as Midleton in County Cork, Cooley in County Louth and Bushmills in County Antrim have been successfully operating in Ireland. Now with whiskey drinkers broadening their tastes and consumers demanding more diversity and quality, new small craft distillers have embraced the opportunity to fill niche markets with small batch and high value brands.
The number of distilleries operating in Ireland is due to increase rapidly in the coming years. In the past three years that number has increased from three to seven. This number is expected to rise to 15 distilleries in the next three years.
The Awards were presented by the Celtic Whiskey Club in conjunction with the award-winning Celtic Whiskey Shop, Ireland’s only Irish whiskey specialist and Whisky Magazine’s 2013 ‘Retailer of the Year’ (it’s the first time an Irish-based retailer has won the award).
The shop, founded by Ally Alpine on Dublin’s Dawson Street, is Ireland’s main spirits specialist but also stocks a huge range of directly imported wines and carefully selected craft beers.