Amber Beverage Group has announced plans to build a new €35 million distillery for Walsh Whiskey in Ireland.
The new Walsh Whiskey distillery at Dunleckney in Co. Carlow, would become a permanent home for the company's whiskey brands, The Irishman and Writers' Tears. It would be one of the largest distilleries on the island of Ireland with an overall production capacity of four million litres per annum, focusing on the production of single malt and pot still whiskeys.
The seven-acre site earmarked for the distillery is a former maltings. Dating back to the 18th century, it was first used as a corn mill and then as a brewery before being converted to malthouses in the 1860s. Subject to planning approval, it is hoped that construction will commence in late 2024 and take approximately 18 months, with the distillery anticipated to open in 2026.
Amber Beverage Group, which acquired Walsh Whiskey in 2021, said the project “signals its intention” to become a leading producer of Irish whiskey, with plans to lay down significant reserves of spirit.
According to data from market research company IMARC Group, the Irish whiskey market globally was worth US$4.7 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to US$7.5 billion by 2028.
Bernard Walsh, who founded Walsh Whiskey in 1999 and remains its managing director, 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.”
Jekaterina Stuge, CEO of Amber Beverage Group, said: “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.
“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.”