Bushmills Irish Whiskey and its owner, Proximo, last week celebrated the opening of the new £37 million state-of-the-art Causeway Distillery.
The opening is part of Proximo’s £60 million investment in its Irish single malt distilling and maturation facility at Bushmills over the past five years. The 39,000 sq ft / 3,625 sq m facility, situated on Ireland’s northern coast, is said to blend high tech with ancient craft to double production at the Bushmills site and place Bushmills among the leading single malt whiskey producers globally.
Bushmills report that their single malts are experiencing increasing demand across the globe, according to their team “the key challenge in extending operations to the new distillery has been to maintain the brand’s essential taste and character.”
To achieve this, Bushmills have said that they have combined “generations of knowledge and experience with the technical excellence of the new distillery and its processes.” The new Causeway Distillery deploys the latest thermal technology, which reduces energy usage by 30%, and state-of-the-art “distilling innovations” that have boosted material consumption efficiency by up to 10%. The distillery takes its name from the Giant’s Causeway, the legendary landmark just a stone’s throwaway, which has inspired Bushmills’ whiskey-makers for centuries. The designers have sought to pay homage to this natural wonder on the distillery’s doorstep with a visually arresting structure made of local basalt and limestone, incorporating interlocking and geometric features.
Colum Egan, the Master Distiller at Bushmills, said the expansion marked the “start of an exciting new chapter.” He went on to say: “We are obsessed with exceptional whiskeys-the ingredients, the processes, thewood, the ageing. Our second distilleryrepresents a great step forward in ensuring generations to comewill enjoy our renowned signature triple-distilled single malts alongside the innovations of the future.”
The investment in the Causeway Distillery marks Proximo’s unwavering commitment to accelerating the growth of the Bushmills portfolio, which saw depletions grow over 10% in 2022, passing one million case sales for the first time in its long legacy. Gordon Dron, Managing Director EMEA APAC, Proximo, said, “This is a proud day forBushmills and amajor milestone since its acquisition by PROXIMO in 2015.” Dron went on to say, “Consistent with global premiumisation, we are witnessing high double-digitgrowth of our unique Bushmills Irish single malts in all key segments and across anumber of excitingnew markets. The Causeway Distillery will enable us to meet the demand of new single malt consumersand seize this fast-growing value opportunity worldwide in the next decade and beyond.”
To celebrate the opening of the new distillery, the Bushmills team have introduced two high-end additions to its range of products–a 25 Year Old and 30 Year Old Single Malt. With the 30 Year Old set to retail at a top price of €2,000 a bottle, the company describes the launch as a “bold entry into the ultra-prestige” market. Alex Thomas, Bushmills Master Blender, said: “Today, as we look to the future, it is fitting to releasethese two rare expressions. They are a testament to our passion for aged single malt. Maturing patientlyand cared for by a generation of skilled craftspeople, these refined whiskeys have spent a lifetime inhand-selected oak casks and are now ready to take their place as true legends of Irish single malt.”
Bushmills’ owners Proximo are also set to capitalise on the area’s popularity as a tourist destination. Plans for a visitor experience at the new distillery signal an exciting boost for Irish whiskey tourism and the opportunity to engage new global whiskey lovers. Visitors can expect an immersive experience that includes Sharvagh House-linked to Hugh Anderson, one of Bushmills great whiskey pioneers-bridging the old and new worlds of whiskey-making in the region.