Whiskey investment by Diageo heralds a return to sector's Golden Age

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Tuesday 31st January 2017: The Irish Whiskey Association has said the announcement today (31 January 2016) by Diageo, the world’s largest spirits maker, that it is to re-enter the global Irish whiskey category with a premium product and a new €25 million distillery in St James’s Gate in the heart of Dublin City is a huge boost for the Irish whiskey sector.

This new development will see Diageo Ireland, the company behind some of the world’s top selling spirits products, create a new blended Irish whiskey, Roe & Co. Development of a new distillery will begin on the site where whiskey was distilled in the eighteenth century. The new €25 million investment is a huge boost to the Irish whiskey industry and will be a significant addition to both the Dublin and Irish whiskey tourism offering when complete.

Speaking about the launch, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, Miriam Mooney said, “The Irish whiskey sector has undergone a renaissance in recent years and today’s news is a hugely significant chapter in the evolving Irish whiskey story. The sector has grown from just four distilleries in operation in 2013 to 16 in production and a further 13 in planning, with many more at various other stages of planning. In Scotland, there are 118 working distilleries bringing investment and employment to rural areas. This shows the potential that exists for Ireland."

“Last month we launched the Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy which set out ambitious plans for the sector to establish an Irish whiskey trail similar to that in Kentucky and to treble the number of whiskey tourists to Ireland from 650,000 to 1.9 million by 2025. The launch of this new distillery by Diageo Ireland reflects its confidence in the Irish whiskey category. A recent Bord Bia report found that whiskey exports jumped by 8% to reach €505 million last year and it is anticipated that this figure will double by 2020. Clearly, there is great optimism amongst our members and today’s announcement by Diageo Ireland is another important milestone for the Irish whiskey sector.”