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Amber Beverage Group to invest €35m in new Irish whiskey distillery

  • New distillery will be one of the largest in the Irish whiskey category with the aim of building capacity for producing 4 million LPAs annually, while laying down and building reserves for the future.

  • Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Dunleckney to become the brand home for Writers' Tears® and The Irishman® super-premium whiskeys.

Aerial view of the site location of ABG's planned Walsh Whiskey Distillery and brand home for its super-premium whiskeys, Writers' Tears and The Irishman, at Dunleckney in Ireland.

(ABG) has signalled its intention to become one of the major global producers of Irish whiskey by investing up to €35 million in the construction of one of the largest distilleries in the category (subject to planning permission). Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Dunleckney will become the brand home for ABG's two critically acclaimed super-premium whiskeys -Writers' Tears® and The Irishman® which are exported to over 50 countries worldwide. ABG's intention is that the distillery will be capable of reaching a production capacity of 4 million LPAs annually. The distillery's capacity will facilitate ABG's plans to lay down significant reserves of maturing whiskey over the long term.

The investment underpins ABG's commitment to becoming a major producer in the global Irish whiskey market, which reached US$4.7 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to US$7.5 billion by 2028. The category is forecast to have a growth rate (CAGR) of 7.44% over the period 2023-2028*.

Subject to planning approval, the new Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Dunleckney will be located on an historic 18th century site by the banks of the River Barrow in County Carlow, just over an hour from Ireland's capital city, Dublin. It is hoped that construction of the distillery will commence later in 2024. The construction process will take approximately 18 months with commissioning of the distillery in 2026.

Making the announcement, Jekaterina Stuge, CEO Of Amber Beverage Group, said: "This is ABG's second major investment in the fast-growing Irish whiskey category following our acquisition of Walsh Whiskey and its super-premium Irish whiskey brands, Writers' Tears and The Irishman, in 2021.

In keeping with our growth ambitions as a rapidly growing global spirits company, once commissioned our distillery will enable ABG to become one of the major global producers of Irish whiskey and to leverage the exceptional growth the category is predicted to continue to experience for the foreseeable future.

Bernard Walsh, Managing Director of Walsh Whiskey

We will preserve the heritage of the historic site at Dunleckney, while introducing high-end production capabilities, married with a modern design to excite the senses of visitors to what will become a leading distillery and brand home for our whiskeys."

Bernard Walsh, Founder and Managing Director of Walsh Whiskey, said: "Located in the heart of Ireland's barley growing region, with its own supply of natural water, the 18th century riverside location of Dunleckney has been a special location for producing drink and food since the 1700s. Milled corn, beer, and malted grain have all been produced at this site, so whiskey is a natural progression. Our immediate focus will be on producing pot still and single malt whiskeys in traditional copper pots."

The former maltings at Dunleckney is one of the finest examples of industrial heritage in Ireland's south-east region. The site of a corn mill in the 1700s, and a water-powered brewery in the early 1800s, it was redeveloped as malthouses in the 1860s. The 7-acre riverside Dunleckney site mainly comprises granite malthouses between three and five storeys high, all built around a central courtyard.

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