Centuries-old manual methods and recipes are used at the Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak to produce Irishman Whiskeys. The whiskeys handcrafted by the Walsh husband and wife team have enjoyed being part of the Irish whiskey revival.
What is the Irish Whiskey Revival?
The Irish whiskey market was revived just over 10 years ago with the country recording massive increases in export sales. The Irish whiskey revival began in 2016 with 8.7 million cases sold, up from 6.7 million in 2014. Whiskey is now the fastest growing category among Irish agri-food and drinks exports.
And it doesn’t look like the revival is slowing down any time soon. The Irish Whiskey Association is aiming to increase exports to 12 million in 2020 and double to 24 million by 2030. The industry has planned investments of over 1 billion pounds over 10 years to meet the targets. The majority of the Irish distilleries have shared in the increase in popularity and growing export market.
The American Love of Irish Whiskeys
While the global growth is 11.2% in 2016, the increase in exports to the US was 17.6% in the same year. Irish whiskies have a creamy, mixed-mash style which appeals to the bourbon-loving population.
American’s taste for the liquid gold was the most significant market with 43.92 million bottles sold to the US in 2016 followed by Ireland with 6.25 million and France with 4.57 million.
2016 saw new distilleries and new releases tempt new connoisseurs however the Irishman has continued to create whiskey based on recipes from the 19th century.
It seems the only loser in this revival is the supply of aged whiskey. While Irish whiskey has never been as big on age-statements as the Scots, slow demand has seen a reduction in supply.
History of the Irishman Whiskeys
Confidence in the industry led to the construction of a new Walsh Whiskey distillery – the first to be built in south-east Ireland in 100 years.
In 2016 the new Walsh Whiskey distillery was commissioned along with its first new malt spirit. The property was purchased in 2013 at Royal Oak in the County Carlow - a region known as Ireland’s barley basket. Commitment to the new property followed a strategic partnership with an Italian company. The Georgian mansion on the estate dates back to 1755 and needed extensive renovation as part of the new distillery project.
With old style production and keen attention to detail, the distillers work in small batches to create their handcrafted premium whiskeys for the Irishman and Writers Tears brands.
Irishman isn’t all about whiskey. In 2005 the Hot Irishman Irish Coffee liqueur was launched using all Irish dairy cream and whiskey combined with vanilla and toffee.
The idea of producing Irish cream came when owners Bernard and Rosemary Walsh were travelling, and Rosemary managed a ski chalet in France in 1999. She was making more than 20 Irish coffees each evening and thought there must be a better way to make Irish coffees. The Hot Irishman company was developed soon after.
Tasting Notes for The Irishman Whiskey:
The Irishman Single Malt Whiskey
Launched in 2007 the triple distilled single malt is still hugely popular. Aged in both oloroso sherry and bourbon casks give it plenty of ripe-fruit notes. The vanilla sweetness is easy to detect as well as the toasted nuts and apricot. The palate has an unusual peaches and cream pudding with a biscuit crumble flavour. The long finish includes a sweet oak.
The Single Malt has won several awards including Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible with 93 points. You can buy The Irishman Single Malt Whiskey online here.
The Irishman Whiskey 12 Year Old
Launched in 2012 with the release of just 714 bottles from two first-fill bourbon barrels. The 12 Year Old is triple distilled to produce light, fruity and grassy aromas. Matured exclusively in bourbon casks gives the whiskey its vanilla and clove flavours. Fruit flavours are also evident with a hint of apples and pears. Less obvious flavours include a pepper spice, barley and chocolate. Why not grab a bottle of the Irishman Whiskey 12 Year Old in our online bottle shop?
If you enjoy a smooth whiskey, try an Irishman Whiskey. If you have any questions, contact the expert team at Copper & Oak.