Sliabh Liag Distillery agrees distribution deal

3rd August, 2018 by Owen Bellwood

Irish whiskey producer Sliabh Liag is preparing to launch its products in the UK and South Africa after signing two distribution deals.

Sliabh Liag will launch its An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin and Silkie Irish Whiskey in the UK and South Africa

The Irish whiskey producer, which launched its first expression in 2016, has partnered with Vine Distribution Services (VDS) in the UK and Truman & Orange in South Africa to distribute its brands.

James Doherty, Sliabh Liag managing director, said: “Both partners have an innovative and considered approach to building brands and we feel that the opportunity for us to grow together in these markets will allow us to develop a proven model for growth that we can take to other markets.”

The deal will see the brand’s An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin and Silkie Irish Whiskey available online and in several high-profile trade outlets.

Doherty says the expanded distribution network opens the door to further growth for Sliabh Liag Distillery.

“There is plenty of scope for growth really. Irish whiskey has been the fastest-growing spirit category for a number of years and has been hyper consolidated in a way not really seen in any other category,“ he said.

Moira and James Doherty of the Sliabh Liag Distillery

“Premium gin is riding a wave of interest and growth, which is remarkable. The category in absolute terms is still relatively small, so you would think that scope for continued growth is still there.”

As the brand prepares to expand into new markets, the team behind the distillery says that Irish whiskey is going through an exciting period.

“I would hope to see some more styles of Irish whiskey coming to market and, with a fair wind and open mind, perhaps a wholesale market that will allow more bonders to come to the table with interesting and innovative releases,” says Doherty.

“The late Charlie Gordon of William Grant & Sons always talked about whiskey being an 18-year cycle, so as for how many distilleries make it from plan to reality that’s really hard to say.

“In the next five years the landscape from a consumer perspective will be pretty similar to now, but the five years after that is when the real renaissance will be visible – and that is exciting.”

Earlier this year, the Irish Whiskey Association hailed the signing of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, which meant that the geographical indication of Irish whiskey will now be protected in the Japanese market.

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