Jack Daniel's owner to build Slane whiskey distillery
LORD Henry Mountcharles, the owner of Jack Daniel's, is to build a whiskey distillery at Slane Castle.
Lord Mountcharles sold the family's whiskey company to drinks giant Brown-Forman earlier this year with the company now planning a €50 million dollar (£36m) investment to convert stables on the Co Meath estate.
The new distillery is due to open by the end of next year, employing 25 people.
"This is a great coming together of two historic families - the Browns of Kentucky and the Conynghams of Slane," Lord Henry, the eighth Marquess Conyngham, said.
"We are very proud to join forces to bring exciting new Irish whiskeys to the world. The commencement of work on the distillery is just a first step in developing a new Irish whiskey brand and welcoming guests to the new distillery."
The new brand of Slane Whiskey will hit the market in 2017, initially using high-quality whiskey bought from other Irish distilleries and finished to Slane's recipes and specifications.
Blended, pot still and single grain whiskeys will begin maturing when the conversion of the 18th century stables is complete and it will have the potential to produce more than 600,000 cases a year for the premium markets.
Whiskey is one of the fastest growing export sectors in the Republic, accounting for more than a quarter of all drinks exports and worth more than €300 million euro (£221 million).
A strategy by the Dublin government aims to grow Irish whiskey's global market share from four per cent to 12 per cent by 2030.
American ambassador to Ireland Kevin F O'Malley signed the first cask to be filled from the distillery.
"There are so many links between Ireland and the great state of Kentucky - people, music, horses and a great tradition of making the finest whiskeys," he said.
The Brown-Forman Corporation owns the world-renowned Jack Daniel's brand, Southern Comfort, Finlandia and Woodford Reserve, among others, and employs nearly 4,200 staff.