Copeland Distillery toasts a taste of things to come

Gareth Irvine

THE Copeland Distillery in Donaghadee has got its first blended whiskey product, called Merchant’s Quay, on to the shelves.

The release marks the distillery’s entry to a third spirits category, having introduced a rum range last November to complement its successful range of gins.

Copeland first revealed a major investment in whiskey production when it took on a 125-year lease at an abandoned cinema in the harbour town in 2019, and it has also produced malt and pot-stilled whiskeys which are undergoing the maturation process and are expected to launch in 2024.

Founder Gareth Irvine said: “This release represents a huge milestone for us. Merchants’ Quay is only a taste of what’s to come and will support our goal of building credibility and establishing pedigree in the whiskey market in advance of the launch of our single malt and pot-stilled products which are currently being distilled and aged at the distillery.

“We have ambitious plans when it comes to whiskey, as part of our long-term goal of creating a world-class, varied portfolio of spirits that represent a taste of Northern Ireland’s craftsmanship and history.

“There is a growing demand for Irish whiskey, at home and internationally, and we are already seeing huge interest across Europe, Asia and North American in our growing range.

Merchant’s Quay - which available to purchase online for £31.99 at and in SuperValu and Centra stores across Northern Ireland - taps into Donaghadee's maritime history.

“As with all of our products, it is taste, innovation and history that are important to us, and Merchants’ Quay celebrates the connection between Copeland Islands and Donaghadee harbour, which were busy trading ports for hundreds of years, where ships have been launched, and casks landed, over the centuries,” Gareth added.

“As our first whiskey offering, we would be excited to introduce Merchants’ Quay at any time of the year, but the current timing, with hospitality businesses reopening, makes this launch both meaningful and rewarding.”

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