The Housewarming at MidletonSeptember 10th, 2013
Dominic Roskrow was at Midleton’s coming out party for their new pot still room, and a lot more.
Over the years Irish Distillers has built quite a reputation for making its major announcements with some style, and this week’s event in Cork was no different. But while the scale of the event itself was no surprise, the ambition from the flurry of news announcements certainly was. Irish Distillers is aiming for the stars…and then some.
The event, held at the Midleton Distillery, was called “The Housewarming,” and was ostensibly to unveil the new (and not completely finished) still room for the production of pot still whiskey. It was staged in the heart of the old distillery itself, and about 900 people from across the world were invited to take part.
The party consisted of a generous number of stalls serving a diverse selection of quality food, live music, a limitless supply of Irish whiskey and cocktails, and the odd stylish flourish, such as the announcement that the old still room was to be named after retiring Irish whiskey master distiller and legend Barry Crockett.
But while all of this and a gorgeous late summer day gave the proceedings a carnival feel, it was the business end of the offering that made the day so special.
First there was the stillroom itself, capable of eventually producing an amazing 20 million liters of pot still whiskey: that’s equal to two Glenfiddich distilleries. Much of it will go into blends, but Irish Distillers showed its full commitment to the resurrection of the Irish category with the announcement that it will release two new pot still whiskeys a year for the next ten years. It hinted at Blue Spot and Red Spot products to join the existing Yellow and Green Spot ones, and suggested that very soon we might see an older Redbreast product, possibly 21 years old.
The big surprise, though, was the unveiling of an educational facility to teach about Irish whiskey, complete with a working mini-still made of glass, and stylish display and information material. It marks a clear commitment by the company to play a leading role in protecting and developing Irish whiskey in the future. All the up and coming Irish craft distillers were invited to the event.
Impressive stuff, and proof positive that the Irish rebirth is not only safe from stalling, but is moving forward at pace.