Jean-Claude Van Damme launches Old Oak whiskey
Hollywood actor Jean-Claude Van Damme touched down in Belfast for the global launch of his new Irish whiskey brand, called Old Oak.
Van Damme, known for his on-screen martial arts performances, co-owns Old Oak Irish Whiskey with Kevin Carson and a number of other investors.
Old Oak’s portfolio currently comprises a three-year-old blended Irish whiskey, created from liquid aged in ex-Bourbon barrels, and a five-year-old blend that was finished in a rum barrel.
Van Damme explained how the venture came about: “I was looking for my own brand of whiskey, possibly an American Bourbon, and then one of my close friends and business associates asked: ‘Why an American whiskey when you can go back to the roots of whiskey and find an Irish whiskey?’
“He then introduced me to the Old Oak whiskey label, which had yet to be launched and had been put together by some whiskey aficionados in Ireland.
“It was also the perfect opportunity to combine two things with which I feel a close connection – whiskey and its rich heritage and the charisma and warmth of Ireland and its people.”
The name ‘Old Oak’ derives from Derry County in Northern Ireland. The word ‘Derry’ is an Anglicisation of the Irish Gaelic word ‘doire’, which means ‘oak wood’.
Old Oak Three Years Old sits at 40% ABV and is available online via oldoakirishwhiskey.com for £34.95 (US$42) per 700ml bottle.
The five-year-old whiskey is also bottled at 40% ABV and can be bought for £39.95 (US$48) per 700ml.
Ian Rowlands, Old Oak co-director and co-shareholder, added: “We are proud to partner with world-renowned actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, whose interest in premium whiskey led him to discover Old Oak. What he found, we believe, was not just a brand but an emotional connection that goes beyond the taste and aroma.
“Jean-Claude embodies the very essence of our brand with his unwavering strength, exceptional character and unparalleled precision. His relentless pursuit of perfection and attention to detail make him the quintessential representation of our brand.”
Last month, The Spirits Business interviewed rockstar Rod Stewart to learn more about his Scotch whisky brand, Wolfie’s.