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Slane Distillery Rolls Out First Barrel at State-of-the-art Distillery

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Slane Distillery Rolls Out First Barrel at State-of-the-art Distillery

Slane Distillery Rolls Out First Barrel at State-of-the-art Distillery
September 04
10:25 2018

Slane Distillery, the recently-opened whiskey distillery located on the historic grounds of Slane Castle in the Boyne Valley, has celebrated a major milestone when it filled its first barrel. The inaugural cask contains new make malt whiskey using barley harvested on the Slane Castle Estate filled into a sherry hogshead.

Brown-Forman, a leader in whiskey since 1870, in collaboration with the Conyngham family of Slane, began construction of Slane Distillery in late 2015 and introduced Slane Irish Whiskey in mid-2017. This unique triple casked blend of Irish whiskey was sourced from other Irish distilleries and was then matured using Slane Distillery’s signature Triple Casked method which uses virgin oak, seasoned whiskey and sherry casks.

“This is an important milestone for any new distillery but one we are especially grateful for at Slane Distillery,” said Alan Buckley, Assistant Manager of Slane Distillery at Brown-Forman. “It’s rare that you get to build a distillery from the ground up, particularly one on grounds as historic at the Slane Castle Estate. That’s part of what makes this first barrel that much more special.”

Now in full production, Slane Distillery has capacity to produce 600,000 cases. Slane Distillery is the first to be built by Brown-Forman outside of the United States. Brown-Forman invested €44 million (approximately $50 million) in the distillery’s construction. Built on the grounds of the 250-year-old gothic farm buildings of the castle, Slane Distillery showcases a revival of the historic architecture on the castle grounds. The working distillery features timber washbacks, state-of-the-art column stills and hand-beaten copper pot stills and a small maturation warehouse while the adjoining visitor centre offers an interactive and immersive journey though the fabric of the Conyngham family tapestry and ancient art of whiskey making, including malting, fermentation and distillation. 

Alex Conyngham, Slane Irish Whiskey Co-founder, said: “This is a very special occasion for my family. We could not have accomplished this much in such a short space of time without the partnership, knowledge, and expertise of Brown-Forman, the talented production team at Slane Distillery and the support of the local community in Slane. I am honoured to play a part in bringing whiskey production back to the Boyne Valley.

Sustainability is at the very core of Slane Distillery, a belief that is echoed by Brown-Forman whose vision is inherently linked to environmental sustainability. Through this shared vision, every element of production at Slane Distillery is designed with the surrounding environment in mind – from spent grain used to feed local cattle, a fish ladder to assist salmon migrating up the River Boyne, inclusion of an anaerobic digester, a rainwater collection and recycling program and the creation of thermal energy on site which will, in turn, be used to part-power the whiskey stills.

Slane Irish Whiskey marries traditional Irish craftsmanship with innovation to produce a unique Irish whiskey through its signature triple casked maturation process. The liquid rests in virgin American oak barrels from the Brown-Forman Cooperage, seasoned American whiskey barrels and Oloroso sherry casks from Spain giving Slane Irish Whiskey a more complex and robust flavour profile, while retaining a warm, Irish smoothness. Each of the three cask styles offers its own flavours, from toasted oak and vanilla, to caramel and butterscotch, and raisin and spice.

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Pictured following the filling of the first cask new make malt whiskey were (L-R): Bernard Kelly, Alex Conyngham, Alan Buckley, Enda Rice, Conor Gallagher and Stephen Maxwell.

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