Amber Beverage Group to invest €35m in new Irish whiskey distillery

October 24, 2023

Amber Beverage Group (ABG) has signalled its intention to become one of the major global producers of Irish whiskey by investing up to €35 million in the construction of a new whiskey distillery (subject to planning permission) at Dunleckney in County Carlow, Ireland. ABG’s investment will enhance Walsh Whiskey, ABG’s centre of whiskey excellence, and become a brand home for ABG’s two critically acclaimed super-premium whiskeys – The Irishman® and Writers’ Tears®, which are exported to over 50 countries worldwide.

Amber Beverage Group
·        Bernard Walsh, Managing Director of Walsh Whiskey, pictured at the site location of ABG’s planned whiskey distillery and home for its super-premium brands, The Irishman and Writers’ Tears, at Dunleckney in Ireland.

The investment underpins ABG’s commitment to becoming a significant producer in the global Irish whiskey market, which reached US$4.7 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to US$7.5 billion by 2028. The category is forecast to have a growth rate (CAGR) of 7.44% over the period 2023-2028*.

Subject to planning approval, the new Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Dunleckney will be located on an historic 18th century site by the banks of the River Barrow, just over an hour from Dublin, Ireland’s capital. It is hoped that construction of the distillery will commence later in 2024. The construction process will take approximately 18 months with commissioning of the distillery in 2026.

Making the announcement, Jekaterina Stuge, CEO Of Amber Beverage Group, said: “This is ABG’s second major investment in the fast-growing Irish whiskey category following our acquisition of Walsh Whiskey and its super-premium Irish whiskey brands, The Irishman and Writers’ Tears, in 2021. Once commissioned, our distillery will enable ABG to become one of the major global producers of Irish whiskey and to leverage the exceptional long-term growth the category has enjoyed for over 20 years and is predicted to continue to experience for the foreseeable future.”

Bernard Walsh, Founder and Managing Director of Walsh Whiskey, said: “Located in the heart of Ireland’s barley growing region, with its own supply of natural water, the 18th century riverside location of Dunleckney has been a special location for producing drink and food since the 1700s. Milled corn, beer, and malted grain have all been produced at this site, so whiskey is a natural progression. Our immediate focus will be on producing pot still and single malt whiskeys in traditional copper pots.”

The former maltings at Dunleckney is one of the finest examples of industrial heritage in Ireland’s south-east region. The site of a corn mill in the 1700s, and a water-powered brewery in the early 1800s, it was redeveloped as malthouses in the 1860s. The 7-acre riverside Dunleckney site mainly comprises granite malthouses between three and five storeys high, all built around a central courtyard. The redesign of the site by ABG will preserve the heritage of the site while incorporating modern design elements, in keeping with ABG’s position as an expanding modern global spirits group.



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