THE new Dingle Distillery opens its doors this week in Milltown where gin and vodka production will commence immediately, while it will be three years before whiskey made in Dingle is on the market.
This is according to the businessman behind the venture, Oliver Hughes of Porterhouse who has been a regular visitor to Dingle for the past 30 years, the venture as having the potential to create up to 20 jobs.
There are currently three other distilleries in Ireland: Bushmills (owned by Diageo), Irish Distillers (owned by Pernod Ricard) and the Cooley Distillery (recently purchased by Jim Beam). However, according to Mr Hughes the Dingle Distillery will be the only whollyIrish owned whiskey distillery in the country.
"It will be three years before we have our own whiskey production and in the meantime we will also be producing our own premium gin, Dingle Original Gin, and premium vodka, DD Vodka," Mr Hughes told The Kerryman this week, "these will be produced within the distillery."
The distillery's Dingle Gold whiskey brand is currently on the market but this is produced by the Cooley distillery. "A couple of years ago, as part of our market research, we commissioned them to produce a Dingle Whiskey," Mr Hughes said. We commissioned a Dingle Gold eight-year old and a 16-year old whiskey."
"Cooley over the number of years has produced some superb whiskeys and part of that portfolio was up to 40 or 50 private labels - this is quite common in the whiskey industry," he said.
The development of the Dingle Distillery is planned in two phases - phase one being production and phase two being the addition of a visitor centre.
The Dingle Distillery opens tomorrow, Thursday November 29, at the site of Fitzgerald's old wood mill in Milltown.