This week our Irish Whiskey News features articles on Walsh Whiskey and Illva Saronno parting ways and Irish alcohol exports worth €1.25 billion in 2018.

So let’s see what’s been happening this week in our Irish whiskey news.

Irish Whiskey News -January 31 - 2018 - Writers Tears

Walsh Whiskey and Illva Saronno dissolve joint venture

Walsh Whiskey said the separation is the result of the firm’s Italian and Irish directors disagreeing “on how to develop the combined business into the future”, despite current sales, marketing and distilling targets “being fully met”. The dissolution of the joint venture will result in the separation of the existing drinks brands business, which includes the Writers’ Tears and The Irishman Irish whiskey brands, from the distilling operations at the Royal Oak Estate in County Carlow.

The Irish directors will now take full control of the brand’s arm and will retain the Walsh Whiskey name for the business. The firm also stressed that Writers’ Tears and The Irishman will have “uninterrupted availability”. The Italian firm will assume full ownership of the distillery based at the historic Royal Oak Estate, which will be renamed Royal Oak Distillery. Illva Saronno will aim to “further enhance” the site as a “centre of excellence in Irish whiskey” through the improvement of its technology and processes.

Irish Whiskey News -January 31 - 2018 - whiskey industry

Irish Alcohol Exports Worth €1.25bn in 2018

According to Bord Bia’s Export Performance & Prospects 2018-2019 report. The report found that Irish alcohol drinks exports were worth €1.25bn in 2018. The US remains the largest market for Irish beverage exports, followed by the UK, Canada, Germany and France.

Irish Whiskey – Consumption of Irish whiskey levels globally are expected to exceed 10m cases by the end of 2018 for the first time. Notably, in 2018 the US market for Irish whiskey grew by more than 10%.

Irish Cream Liqueur – Irish cream liqueur has also enjoyed a strong performance with growth of 9% in value, achieving sales of over 7.9m cases in 2018, up from 7.2m in 2017.

Beer – The value of beer exports fell marginally in 2018, but the volume increased by 9%. This was as a result of positive performance on the European continent and reflects a continuing trend from 2017.

Gin – Irish gin is emerging as a category for the international consumer, set to be worth more than €5m in exports in 2018.

Patricia Callan, Director of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), said: “Today’s report proves that Ireland’s drinks industry is an export powerhouse, going from strength to strength. “Looking forward, the outlook for 2019 remains positive, driven by the popularity of premium brands and the growth of Irish whiskey in key international markets like the US.”

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