Brown-Forman opens Slane Distillery in Ireland

11th September, 2017 by Amy Hopkins

Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Forman has opened its Slane Irish whiskey distillery and visitor centre in County Meath – the company’s first distillery based outside of the US.

The US drinks group Brown-Forman acquired the Slane brand in 2015 and announced plans to invest US$50 million in building a new Irish whiskey distillery on the historic Slane Castle estate.

The castle and its grounds have been owned by the Conyngham family since 1701. Brown-Forman said the new distillery is a “keystone” in a “historic partnership” between the company and the Conyngham family.

Construction of Slane Distillery started in 2015 and involved the conversion of the 1,500-acre estate’s 18th century horse stables and courtyards. The distillery, which will start whiskey production later this autumn, contains three copper pot stills and six column stills created by McMillan of Scotland. Water from the nearby River Boyne will used in future blended Slane Irish whiskeys.

“The Boyne Valley was an important centre for Irish whiskey production in the 18th and 19th centuries, when Irish whiskey was the most popular aged spirit category in the world,” said Alex Conyngham, co-founder of Slane Irish Whiskey.

“With the opening of Slane Distillery, we aim to restore this legacy for future generations by combining the best of traditional Irish whiskey craftsmanship with progressive process innovation.

“We are also delighted to be able to open the distillery to visitors where they can see and experience the whole production process for themselves and enjoy a sensory based tasting experience of Slane Irish Whiskey.”

Earlier this year, Slane released its inaugural expression, which was distilled by a third party. The core expression uses triple cask maturation with virgin oak, seasoned oak and Sherry casks – a process that will continue for the brand’s own-distilled whiskey.

Slane Distillery and Visitor Experience features a tasting area, heritage room, retail store, café, and two cocktail areas.

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