Northern Ireland’s Copeland Distillery begins production

14th August, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Irish gin maker Copeland Spirits has begun production at its new distillery in Northern Ireland, at the same time as unveiling a new brand identity.

Copeland Distillery will open its visitor centre next month

In February this year, County Down-based company Copeland Spirits signed a 125-year lease to build a distillery, visitor centre and events space on a 6,500-square-foot site in the harbour town of Donaghadee.

Following 10 months of construction work and a £900,000 (US$1.08 million) investment, the new Copeland Distillery will open its new visitor centre to the public on 12 September 2019.

The tour will feature gin tastings and botanical sensory sessions. The project will also create employment in additional sectors such as retail and events.

The distillery contains a 3.3 metre-high still, named Pam after Copeland founder Gareth Irvine’s mother.

Irvine and head distiller William Stafford will oversee all gin and whiskey production from grain selection to maturation.

The 6,500-square-foot distillery will become the production site for Copeland Gin, as well as new offerings, including a “classic” Irish gin and a single cask whiskey reserve. Whiskey production will begin in the “coming months”.

Whiskey from the site will be made with cask finishes including Bourbon, Cognac, rum, Amontillado wine and fino Sherry.

The new gin will feature 12 botanicals including pine needles, cubeb berries, orange peel, lemon peel and some locally sourced flora from local islands including sea pink maritima.

The expression has “caramelised orange peel and sweet spice” on the nose with “sweet orange returns” and a “lingering yet subtle spice”.

The gin will make its debut in the south of Ireland and Copeland’s existing markets across Europe, Australia and further afield during 2019 and early 2020.

‘World-class’ 

Copeland will also reveal a new brand identity to “further cement its connection” to County Down’s coast. The brand refresh will include a corked bottle with a compass feature from the historic chart of the Copeland Islands.

“Our long-term ambition is to create a world-class, varied portfolio of spirits that offer the consumer, at home and abroad, a taste of Northern Ireland’s craftsmanship and history,” said Irvine.

“Our new brand echoes this same ambition and proudly combines our product with local heritage.

“The distillery is now a permanent home for our brand and will allow us to move into new categories such as whiskey and more imminently our newest gin, our first clear, classic expression which is already in distribution locally and will soon join our other products throughout Europe and in Australia.

“Moving into our new home will also allow us to start our journey in whiskey production later this year. As an industry that is targeting global sales of 12 million cases by 2020 and with growing interest from new markets for us including Russia.”

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