Amber Beverage Group (ABG), the owners of Walsh Whiskey (Writers’ Tears and Irishman whiskeys) have announced plans to build a €35million distillery in Dunlekney, Co. Carlow, a townland just north of Bagnelstown, Co. Carlow.
Subject to planning permission, ABG are planning to create one of “the largest distilleries in the category”. The Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Dunleckney will become the brand home for Walsh Whiskey’s/ABG’s, Writers’ Tears, and The Irishman brands, which are exported to over 50 countries worldwide.
ABG’s intention is that the distillery will be capable of reaching a production capacity of four million LPA annually. The distillery’s capacity will facilitate ABG’s plans to lay down significant reserves of maturing whiskey over the long term.
The site of the distillery (subject to planning) is set to be a large 18th century maltings building on the banks of the River Barrow, which will be a picturesque site for a distillery in Carlow.
ABG hopes it can begin building work in 2024, which it anticipates will take 18 months to complete. The new distillery, if all goes to plan, should be operational by 2026.
Jekaterina Stuģe, CEO of Amber Beverage Group, said: “This is ABG’s second major investment in the fast-growing Irish whiskey category following our acquisition of Walsh Whiskey and its super-premium Irish whiskey brands, Writers’ Tears and The Irishman, in 2021.”
“In keeping with our growth ambitions as a rapidly growing global spirits company, once commissioned our distillery will enable ABG to become one of the major global producers of Irish whiskey and to leverage the exceptional growth the category is predicted to continue to experience for the foreseeable future.
“We will preserve the heritage of the historic site at Dunleckney, while introducing high-end production capabilities, married with a modern design to excite the senses of visitors to what will become a leading distillery and brand home for our whiskeys.”
Bernard Walsh, Founder and Managing Director of Walsh Whiskey, said: “located in the heart of Ireland’s barley growing region, with its own supply of natural water, the 18th century riverside location of Dunleckney has been a special location for producing drink and food since the 1700s.
“Milled corn, beer, and malted grain have all been produced at this site, so whiskey is a natural progression. Our immediate focus will be on producing pot still and single malt whiskeys in traditional copper pots.
“The former maltings at Dunleckney is one of the finest examples of industrial heritage in Ireland’s south-east region. The site of a corn mill in the 1700s, and a water-powered brewery in the early 1800s, it was redeveloped as malthouses in the 1860s. The seven-acre riverside Dunleckney site mainly comprises granite malthouses between three and five storeys high, all built around a central courtyard.”
The new Walsh Whiskey Distillery in Dunleckney will be approximately 2km away from the original site of their first distillery joint venture with Illva Saronno in the Royal Oak Distillery.