This week we feature articles on Conor McGregor opening his new distillery, worlds most expensive Japanese whiskey is sold at auction and Irelands single pot still sales are rising.
So let’s see what’s been happening this week in our Irish whiskey roundup.
The Notorious revealed that he is now running the “finest” whisky distillery in Ireland while acknowledging that Jameson is the current top dog, he vowed that his own brand will be coming to take over. In yet another hint of his ambitions outside combat sports, McGregor is not only driven to succeed for money but in memory of his late grandfather – who was an “avid” Irish whiskey man according to the 30-year-old.
“It is in my opinion, the finest distillery we have on this great island. We have the purest soil, with the freshest Irish spring water, and our golden Irish grain and malt are so golden, sunglasses are required to look directly at them. 77 acres of un-matched Irish soil. We are producing nothing but liquid gold here. Proper liquid gold.”
A bottle of rare Japanese whisky sold at a world-record price on Friday, the third record shattered this year for a single malt from the country. The 50-year-old Yamazaki first edition went for 2.695 million Hong Kong dollars ($343,000), including the buyer’s premium, at a Bonhams auction in Hong Kong. The buyer chose to remain anonymous, Bonhams said, but the auction house disclosed that the winner — who placed the bid by phone — was from Asia.
The previous record for a bottle of Japanese whisky was set in May when an expression of Karuizawa 1960 52-year-old The Dragon fetched HK$2.45 million at Bonhams in Hong Kong. In January, a Yamazaki single malt aged 50 years sold for HK$2.337 million at a Sotheby’s auction, also in Hong Kong.
A unique Irish whiskey style is known as single pot still is now accounting for a growing share of the Irish category. While single malts are made with 100% malted barley and single grains are primarily corn-and barley-based, single pot still whiskies are made with a mixed mash of malted and unmalted barley. This lends a spicier, more peppery finish to the taste.
Last year, Irish Distillers invested $11 million in its Midleton Distillery in County Cork, Ireland, aiming to grow the facility’s single pot still capacity by more than 30%. Three new copper pot stills were installed at the distillery and became operational last June. At Walsh Distillery in Carlow, Ireland, commercial director John Kelly sees great opportunity for the single pot still style. “Single pot still is a fantastic opportunity for the industry to put itself out there as a category, and differentiate it from, say, Scotch whisky,” he says.
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