Monday 19 March 2018

Whiskey galore as Jack Daniels to build €44m Slane Castle distillery

Foo Fighters in action at Slane
Foo Fighters in action at Slane

Elaine Keogh

The makers of Jack Daniels whiskey have struck a deal to build a €44m distillery at Slane Castle.

US distiller Brown Forman has bought the Slane Castle Irish Whiskey brand and will invest in a new distillery on the grounds of the historic estate in Co Meath.

Slane Castle has been the venue for some of the biggest rock concerts in Irish musical history, from Bob Dylan and Oasis to Foo Fighters last weekend.

Jack Daniels has been equally beloved of rock stars down the years.

Brown-Forman 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 means the creation of 25 jobs in addition to those involved in construction.

The deal is among the biggest in the sector since Cooley distillery was sold to US giant Beam for €71m three years ago. Slane Castle Whiskey was originally produced at Cooley.

Speaking yesterday, Slane Castle owner Lord Henry Mountcharles said his family will remain at the core of the business into the foreseeable future.

"Brown Forman was absolutely the people we wanted to partner with because of their vast experience in the whiskey business.

"It is a publicly quoted company and a member of the Brown family is still chairman of the board."

Members of the Brown family were guests at the concert last Saturday, he said.

"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."

The new distillery will be located in the old stable yards on the Slane estate.

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.

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