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Beam won't sell Cooley whiskey in cans

US whiskey and bourbon company Beam, which bought Cooley Distillery last year, won't be selling whiskey from cans or mixed with flavours, Beam chief executive Matt Shattock said.

The company currently sells Teachers whisky in cans in India and cherry flavoured Courvoisier brandy in China.

Beam, which owns brands such as Jim Beam Bourbon, Canadian Club Whisky and Laphroaig Single Malt, bought Cooley Distillery from a group of entrepreneurs led by John Teeling last December for around €73m.

Beam now plans to focus on Cooley's Kilbeggan brand which is made in Westmeath and promote the whiskey in countries where it already has a strong presence such as the US, Germany, France and Spain. Other Cooley whiskies such as Tyrconnell and a rake of own- brand whiskies will continue to be made in Cooley in Louth.

"Kilbeggan is a very strategic asset," Beam's Mr Shattock said in an interview yesterday. "Our message is very clear: we bought this asset to grow it."

Irish whiskey sales are growing at 12pc a year worldwide while spirits are rising just 3pc, he added.

Mr Shattock, a former British army tank commander who also worked with Cadbury and Unilever, said Beam would also be pushing Kilbeggan Whiskey in India, which consumes 100 million cases of whiskey a year and offers great growth potential because of the country's expanding middle class who are looking for smoother drinks than India's domestic brands.

Irish Independent