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Tullamore Distillery Nears Completion as Spirit Safe Installed

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Tullamore Distillery Nears Completion as Spirit Safe Installed

Tullamore Distillery Nears Completion as Spirit Safe Installed
August 26
12:35 2014

The long-awaited return of Irish whiskey production to the town of Tullamore has moved a significant step closer with the installation of the custom-made Tullamore Distillery Spirit Safe. The symbolic and functional heart of a distillery, the installation of the Spirit Safe is a major milestone in bringing Tullamore D.E.W. production back to its hometown. The first spirit will flow from the new €35 million distillery in mid-September exactly 60 years after the closure of the original distillery.

Tullamore D.E.W. is the world’s second largest Irish whiskey brand and has seen global sales double to more than 850,000 (9L) cases since 2005. The brand is owned by independent family-owned Scotch whisky distiller William Grant & Sons.

As part of the distillation process, the Master Distiller applies their skill and specialist knowledge through the spirit safe to identify the middle cut, or ‘heart’ of the spirit before filling it into casks for maturation. It allows the spirit to be fully analysed by the distiller without compromising the integrity of the distilling process. Only the finest ‘cut’ of the spirit is used, with the first and the last cut, referred to as the ‘top and tail’, retained and added to the next distillation.

Tullamore Distillery’s Spirit Safe which was made by the famous Forsyth Group from the town of Rothes in Moray, Scotland completed the 775 km journey to Tullamore under the care of two of Forsyth’s specialist engineers who expertly installed it at the heart of the still house. The 10 cu m glass and polished brass Spirit Safe is uniquely designed in a triangular shape, an appropriate reference to Tullamore D.E.W.’s complex triple-distilled, triple blend of all three types of Irish whiskey, while also paying tribute to the Grant family’s coat of arms which features its own trio of crowns.

The introduction of the spirit safe dates back to 1823 when duty laws were brought in to enforce taxation on distilleries. For this reason spirit safes feature a large elaborate padlock which casts back to a time when only an Exciseman, who enforced tax collection, could unlock the safe to access the spirit. Despite technological advances in distilleries the Spirit Safe stills plays an important role in modern whiskey making.

Denise Devenny, Tullamore Distillery Process Leader, comments: “The Spirit Safe is the most important element in the distillation process and is used to select the finest cut of spirits. There is no better sight than seeing pure spirit washing around the mouth of the collection bowl and disappearing to be matured in casks knowing that it will only re-appear many years later to be enjoyed by generations of whiskey connoisseurs.”

The annual production of the new distillery will be 1.84 Mla of triple distilled pot still and malt whiskeys – the equivalent of about 1.5 m cases.

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