Slainté: Tradition in a bottle!

According to IMARC Group, the global Irish whiskey market size reached US$ 5.1 billion (€4.7 million) in 2023, and is expected to reach US$ 9.2 billion (€8.47 billion) by 2032, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7% during 2024-2032. With these impressive statistics in mind, Gillian Hamill explores the Irish brands currently regaling whiskey fans with superb options



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26 April 2024

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Hugely popular across the globe, Irish whiskey’s growth has boomed throughout the past decade. Indeed, data from the Irish Whiskey Association has shown that exports surpassed 12 million cases in 2021, which represented a significant uptick from previous years.

The United States stands as the primary market for Irish whiskey, followed closely by Canada, the UK, and Germany. Notably, the appeal of premium and super-premium Irish whiskey variations is skyrocketing, fueling growth in both value and volume. With its wide range of offerings and esteemed reputation for quality and craftsmanship, Irish whiskey remains a thriving force in the global spirits industry.

This has been fuelled by Irish whiskey’s increasingly diverse custom base. A great example of this, was the new status announced earlier this year of ‘Women in Irish Whiskey’, as a not-for-profit representative organisation, alongside its new website,

Women in Irish Whiskey was set up by industry professionals and lifelong friends Heather Clancy and Anne-Marie Kelly, both from Co Kildare, to support women and gender diversity within the Irish whiskey industry through networking opportunities, encouraging career development and driving change in the sector.

Commenting on the organisation, director of the Irish Whiskey Association, which was a sponsor of the recent Women in Irish Whiskey networking event, Eoin Ó Catháin, said: “Irish whiskey was once a male-dominated industry, however as our premium product is enjoyed by a broader and more diverse consumer base, the talent across all levels of our industry has too diversified.

“The Irish Whiskey Association’s Sustainability Roadmap published in 2022 indicates that the gender split across the industry is now 63% male, 37% female. Our ambition is for increased gender parity in the years to come – to better reflect those who enjoy Irish whiskey today.”


True spirit of Wicklow

The Fercullen Irish Whiskey 18 year old Single Malt Virgin Oak Quarter Cask release has been expertly blended to produce just 590 bottles

Powerscourt Distillery continues its commitment to innovation with the brand’s recent release.

The 18 year old Single Malt Virgin Oak Quarter Cask release is available exclusively at the Home of Fercullen Whiskey and award winning Visitor Centre on the Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, only 30 minutes from Dublin.

The second instalment in Powerscourt Distillery’s quarter cask series, crafted from double-distilled 18 year old single malt and following in the footsteps of its beloved Apple brandy finish. This exceptional single malt has undergone a meticulous finishing process, spending nearly two years maturing in a handpicked selection of virgin oak quarter casks before being expertly blended to produce just 590 bottles.

Each quarter cask, with a capacity of 92 litres, offers increased wood contact per volume of liquid, significantly altering the whiskey’s characteristics, imparting a bold flavour profile in a shorter maturation period, as follows:

Nose: Toffee Apple, Orange marmalade on toast, Chocolate Chip cookie, oak on a campfire.

Taste: Maple syrup, black cherry jam, toasted oak and hazelnuts

Finish: Vanilla Fudge, milk chocolate, peanut butter, toasted oak

Exclusively available online at or in the distillery shop, this whiskey is non chill filtered and bottled at 46% ABV with a retail price of €150.

Meanwhile, the award-winning “True Spirit of Wicklow” Fercullen Single Malt is available at 46% ABV, retailing at €55.

Fercullen Falls offers a uniquely blended whiskey with 50% malt, ideal for mixing with 43% ABV, retailing at €38.

Both expressions are available widely throughout the country in all reputable retailers and Barry & Fitzwilliam.

A maverick spirit!

Clonakilty Distillery is proud to announce its recent success at the World Whiskies Awards, where it took home the prestigious title of The World’s Best Irish New Make & Young Spirit. This marks the third win for Clonakilty in the new make category within the past five years.

Michael Scully, founder of Clonakilty Distillery, expressed his delight, stating: “We are thrilled to have received this award for our single malt new make, especially after our previous awards in 2020 and 2023 for our single pot still new make.”

“Winning this award in three of the past five years is a testament to the distillers and the entire team at Clonakilty,” he adds.

“It’s In Our Nature,” as they say at Clonakilty. It takes a certain maverick spirit to transform the vision of establishing a craft distillery into a reality. And you’ll find that spirit in Clonakilty, on the south-west tip of Ireland. An ancient, rocky coastline where 3,000 miles of ocean finally collide with land. Where whales bask offshore and the weather’s so wild, even the lighthouse keepers gave up.

Out here, people do things their own way. Like the Scully family. Farming the same land for nine generations. Taking the considered view that Irish whiskey could be improved, by harnessing natural elements in a unique and more sustainable way. So they did just that.

Building a distillery. Growing their own barley where the salty air, soft rain and mist infuse every grain. Boring deep into the ancient rock to draw the purest, clearest spring water.

The World Whiskies Awards represent the pinnacle of excellence in the whiskey industry, celebrating the finest expressions from around the country. With so many exceptional whiskies to choose from, discerning consumers and collectors alike rely on the expertise of their panel of judges.

This year, Clonakilty Distillery’s Single Malt New Make Spirit captured the title of The World’s Best Irish New Make & Young Spirit. A quintessential Irish Single Malt, this spirit is crafted from locally sourced malted barley and triple distilled in copper pot stills, embodying the essence of its sustainable coastal heritage.

Established in 2018, Clonakilty Distillery is a family-owned and operated distillery on Ireland’s South West Coast, along the popular Wild Atlantic Way. The distillery makes award winning whiskies, gins, and vodka.

The World Whiskies Awards are the gold standard of global whiskey awards, selecting the very best in all the international recognised styles, award and promote the world’s best whiskies to consumers and trade across the globe.

Celebrating a double delight!

The World Whiskies Awards 2024 has once more underscored Hinch Irish Whiskey’s dedication to excellence and ingenuity

Hinch Irish Whiskey is basking in the glow of international acclaim after securing not one, but two prestigious titles at this year’s World Whiskies Awards. The awards dinner, held in London at the prestigious Merchant Taylors’ Hall, saw Hinch Irish Whiskey clinch the coveted titles for ‘World’s Best Blended Irish Whiskey’ and ‘World’s Best Blended Irish Whiskey Limited Release.’

The World Whiskies Awards, organised by Whisky Magazine, is an annual celebration recognising excellence in whiskey worldwide. It is a platform where the finest whiskies are judged by a panel of international experts, making it a significant event in the global whiskey calendar. This year’s competition was fierce, with numerous Irish whiskey brands vying for the prestigious ‘World’s Best’ accolades. However, Hinch Irish Whiskey emerged victorious in two highly competitive categories, further solidifying its position as a leader in the whiskey industry.

Hinch’s 5-Year-Old Double Wood was awarded the title of ‘World’s Best Blended Irish Whiskey’, a testament to its exceptional quality and the mastery behind its creation. This exquisite whiskey, known for its double wood maturation process, has captivated the palates of connoisseurs and casual enthusiasts alike and was described by judges as ‘a sensory journey with notes of vanilla, pear caramel, and heather honey, captivated the palate with its clean and complex character.’

In addition, Hinch’s innovative collaboration with Whitewater Brewery, Craft & Casks Imperial Stout Finish, was honoured with the ‘World’s Best Blended Irish Whiskey Limited Release’ award. This special edition whiskey, which marries the rich, malty flavours of stout with the nuanced character of Irish whiskey, represents the pinnacle of collaborative craftsmanship and has received widespread acclaim for its originality and taste.

Dr. Terry Cross OBE, chairman of Hinch Distillery, expressed his delight at the double win, noting: “We are honoured to receive such prestigious recognition for our Hinch 5-Year-Old Double Wood whiskey. This award is a testament to our unwavering commitment to crafting exceptional spirits that delight whiskey enthusiasts worldwide.”

Michael Morris, international sales director at Hinch Distillery, added: “I am immensely proud of our team at Hinch Distillery for their dedication and commitment to crafting exceptional spirits. Winning these prestigious awards at the World Whiskies Awards is a testament to our relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation This year’s event witnessed the recognition of several Irish whiskey distilleries and brands, further highlighting the growth and strength of Irish whiskey across the drinks industry.”

The World Whiskies Awards 2024 has once more underscored Hinch’s dedication to excellence and ingenuity in the craft of whiskey production. As the group commemorates these exceptional accomplishments, Hinch Irish Whiskey says it persists in establishing the benchmark for quality and creativity within the industry, propelled by an ongoing investment in its distillery, team and the development of brands.

Reimaging possibilities for flavour

Roe & Co Solera Single Malt Irish uses four criaderas of hand selected casks

Roe & Co Irish Whiskey recently launched its latest expression by head distiller Lora Hemy; Roe & Co Solera Single Malt Irish Whiskey.

A vibrant, permanent addition, using the solera method which incorporates fractional finishing of whiskey across a range of age and cask types, including the first ever casks produced at the Roe & Co Dublin 8 Distillery. A first for the brand, and a process rarely used in the Irish whiskey industry, Roe & Co Solera Single Malt Irish Whiskey re-imagines the possibilities of flavour using four criaderas of hand-selected casks, American Oak ex Bourbon barrels, newly Alligator charred American oak barrels, Chestnut barrels and four different types of Sherry casks.

The result is an ever-evolving flavour profile over time, that delights the palate in a variety of different serves. Tasting notes include maple syrup and caramel, with complex notes of roasted walnut, truffle, wood spice, and dried fruits.

Head distiller, Lora Hemy, recommends serving it neat, on the rocks, with a dash of water, or as a delicious base in your favourite cocktail. The non-chill filtered Roe & Co Solera Single Malt first edition is a beautifully complex Irish whiskey, bottled at 46% ABV. Available in key outlets nationwide and in the Roe & Co Distillery, the new whiskey has an RRP of €85. It is also available in global travel retail with additional markets to follow.

For more information, visit

Profoundly rich and perfectly balanced

The Busker’s exclusive releases are the best expression of what the Royal Oak Distillery has to offer within the premium category

Discover The Busker Small Batch Double Aged Collection. The Busker’s Small Batch Whiskeys are double matured by using a limited number of casks accurately selected by its team from its warehouse in Royal Oak Distillery, Co. Carlow. The Small Batch Collection has been personally selected by master blender Caroline Martin. These exclusive releases are the best expression of what the Royal Oak Distillery has to offer within the premium category.

The first in this collection was released in late 2023: the award-winning Single Pot Still Small Batch. Double aged in Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry Casks, and non-chill filtered to preserve the taste and aromas. Tasting notes include fruit notes, raisins, sultanas, prunes and figs, warming spice ginger and cinnamon. Long, smooth and mellow finish. On the nose, the Single Pot Still gives leathery, profoundly rich, complex, robust, fresh pipe tobacco, aromatic, rounded and perfectly balanced aromas. Best enjoyed neat, or on the rocks.

The Small Batch Single Pot Still has won Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2023, Silver at the World Whiskey Awards 2024, and 93 points in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2023.

With a new take on the packaging side, the Small Batch Single Pot Still is corked, and has the Royal Oak Distillery logo embedded into the glass. This new look will be showcased by the Busker Premium Single range later this year.

The Busker is proudly distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.

Fresh twist on 200 years of whiskey tradition

Big news from the heart of Ireland! The award-winning Tullamore D.E.W. has launched a fresh new look.

The updated design honours the brand’s roots in Tullamore, a nod to its close to 200-year-old tradition of whiskey making, and a wink to its ever-growing global community of whiskey drinkers.

The modern label makes Tullamore town the star, with a palette of rich greens mirroring the Irish countryside where the town is located. The eye-catching design also tips its hat to the brand’s history, featuring the iconic Irish Wolfhound front and center.

Wondering why the wolfhound? It’s all thanks to Desmond E. Williams, grandson of founder Daniel E Williams, who had a soft spot for dogs and a vision for how to bring Tullamore D.E.W. to new drinkers all over the world. He wanted a symbol that captured Tullamore D.E.W.’s community values – loyalty, friendship, and strength. Desmond commissioned the original drawing of the Wolfhound and put it on the bottle in the 1950’s. This proud hound will now be front and centre on every bottle of Tullamore D.E.W.  across the globe.

The Tullamore D.E.W. bottle itself has also received some love. It retains its iconic shape but boasts a sleeker, rounder profile (losing up to 27% in glass weight) for a better grip and pour. The new twist cap, carrying the founder’s signature, makes opening a breeze. The goal? To make the toasting experience with Tullamore D.E.W. as smooth as the whiskey.

Speaking on the packaging refresh, Kate Webb, global innovation manager for Tullamore D.E.W., said: “This isn’t just about a fresh coat of paint. The redesign symbolises our enduring passion for our brand, our history, and the smooth whiskey we’ve been sharing with the world since 1829.

“Tullamore is not just a name – it’s our home, and the spirit of our close-knit community inspires everything we do.

“We’re delighted to bring back our loyal and proud mascot, the beloved Wolfhound, to the front of the bottle. With this fresh look, we’re ready to welcome a new generation of drinkers to discover Tullamore D.E.W. Whiskey, the perfect companion for a good time with friends.”

Tullamore D.E.W.’s new look was rolled out on shelves in Q1 2024. Tullamore D.E.W. is also kicking off a global campaign across TV, OOH, and digital in various markets, including the USA, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

Fans can flaunt their small-town spirit on social media: @tullamoredew.

To learn more about the new design and its ties to the brand’s history and values or about the ‘Be More Tullamore’ campaign, visit

‘Glasses up to Responsible Drinking’.

For the people, by the people

West Cork Distillery has invented and patented its own distilling techniques.

West Cork is a true Irish whiskey: for the people, by the people.

The distillery takes pride in making whiskey for everyone to enjoy. In fact, there’s 140 people in West Cork Distillers, who love a decent whiskey and work hard to make one for people just like them.

The brand has done it the hard way: Before even making whiskey, West Cork Distillery made its own stills (ask the team about the rocket!).

The brand has invented and patented its own distilling techniques, noting:  “It’s been tough but wait till you taste the whiskey.

“We don’t go in for dressing it up, droning on about how it smells or who’s second cousin grew the barley.

“It’s great whiskey at a decent price.

“If you’re into that sort of thing.”

The brand advises trying its West Cork Highball cocktail for true Irish whiskey refreshment

Read more: Whiskey rocks!



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