Brown-Forman Corporation has announced it has purchased all shares of Slane Castle Irish Whiskey Limited. Brown-Forman will invest approximately $50 million to build a new distillery and consumer experience on the historic Slane Castle Estate in County Meath, Ireland, the home of Henry Conyngham, the eighth Marquess Conyngham, and his son, Alex Conyngham, the Earl of Mount Charles.
“We are very excited about this new venture into Irish Whiskey,” said Brown-Forman Chief Executive Officer Paul Varga. “Brown-Forman has a long history of bringing great whiskey to the world, such as Woodford Reserve, which we introduced in 1996 and has since grown to become one of the world’s leading super premium bourbon brands.”
“Irish whiskey has been one of the fastest growing segments in the global whiskey category over the last few years,” stated Lawson Whiting, executive vice president and chief brands & strategy officer for Brown-Forman Brands, “and we’re excited to be partnering with the Conyngham family as we build the new Slane Irish Whiskey Distillery and introduce new Irish whiskeys to the world.”
Whiting said that Brown-Forman will open the Slane Irish Whiskey Distillery in late 2016, and introduce new Irish whiskeys in the spring of 2017, initially using high quality whiskey purchased from other Irish distilleries and then finished to Slane’s exacting specifications while the whiskey made at the new Slane Distillery is laid down to mature in the nearby Irish countryside. “We’ll use proprietary methods to create unique and high quality taste profiles to position our brands in the premium and super premium segments, with a range of blended, pot still, and single grain Irish whiskeys that will delight whiskey aficionados and consumers alike,” added Whiting.
Alex Conyngham said, “Our family has been part of the Slane community for many generations and we are pleased to join forces with Brown-Forman to bring our special part of Ireland to the world. Our commitment to caring for our land, cultivating barley, and our family legacy are consistent with Brown-Forman’s long-term approach to whiskey making, and we believe that this aligned approach will bring great success.”
Henry Conyngham added, “Our family will be a key part of the brand-building model for these new Irish whiskeys and we are thrilled at the prospect of working for many years to come with Brown-Forman on developing the trademarks and to welcoming friends to the new distillery, right next door to our ancestral home. We know that Brown-Forman is the perfect partner to take these new Irish whiskeys to the U.S. and other markets across the globe.”
Slane Castle is located in the middle of a 1,500 acre estate in the heart of the Boyne Valley, 30 miles north of Dublin. Here’s an aerial view of Slane Castle, Dublin.
Cover image courtesy of Slane Castle.