Jack Daniel's owner Brown Forman buys Slane Castle Whiskey, investing $50m in new distillery

Alex Mount Charles, Managing Director Slane Castle Whiskey pictured outside Slane Castle

Elaine Keogh

US distiller Brown Forman has bought Slane Castle Irish Whiskey and is to invest $50m in a new distillery on the grounds in county Meath.

Brown-Forman said will open the Slane Irish Whiskey Distillery, in 2016 and introduce new whiskeys in the spring of 2017. It plans to offer blended, pot still, and single grain whiskeys.

The deal will also mean the creation of 25 jobs in addition to those involved in construction of the distillery.

Speaking this morning Lord Henry said, “the family will remain at the core of the business into the foreseeable future.  This is a very long-term partnership and I am incredibly excited.”

Just days after hosting what he called, “one of the best Slane concerts ever,” headlined by American rock band The Foo Fighters, Lord Henry said: “Brown Forman was absolutely the people we wanted to partner with because of their vast experience in the whiskey business. It is a publically quoted company and a member of the Brown family is still chairman of the board.”

He revealed that the Brown family have visited Slane and some of the family were guests at the concert last Saturday.

Lord Henry said: “this is a major boost for tourism in the whole Boyne Valley region and there will be 25 permanent jobs created. That is in addition to the construction jobs and this will have a significant positive knock on effect for guest houses, hotels and tourism in general.”

He said he is “thrilled” at the development and “my son Alex and I have been working on this since 2009.  It has been something of a long and winding road but with a fabulous conclusion to it.”

“We are very excited about this new venture into Irish Whiskey,” said Brown-Forman Chief Executive Officer Paul Varga. “Brown-Forman has a long history of bringing great whiskey to the world, such as Woodford Reserve, which we introduced in 1996 and has since grown to become one of the world’s leading super premium bourbon brands.”

“Irish whiskey has been one of the fastest growing segments in the global whiskey category over the last few years,” stated Lawson Whiting, executive vice president and chief brands & strategy officer for Brown-Forman Brands, “and we’re excited to be partnering with the Conyngham family as we build the new Slane Irish Whiskey Distillery and introduce new Irish whiskeys to the world.”

The distillery will be located in the old stable yards on the estate and there will be a Slane Castle whiskey on the market in 2017.

Lord Henry has reassured the rock fans around the globe that this new venture will not prevent concerts at the venue.

“The concerts will go on,” he declared.

Construction on the distillery will begin in the next two months.