Brown-Forman Corporation held its official ground breaking ceremony this week for Slane Distillery, the company’s initial entry into distilling Irish whiskey.
Slane Distillery is also the first distillery built by Brown-Forman outside of the United States.
The U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, joined representatives from Brown-Forman and Slane Castle for the distillery’s official construction kick-off. Slane Distillery, which will also include a visitor experience, is planned to open in late 2016.
The new distillery will create nearly 25 new full-time jobs, the company says, while the construction process will support approximately 80 jobs.
The distillery is being built in the grounds of Slane Castle which is located in the middle of a 1,500 acre estate in the heart of Ireland’s Boyne Valley, 30 miles north of Dublin. Slane Castle is the home of Henry Conyngham, the eighth Marquess Conyngham, and his son, Alex Conyngham, the Earl of Mount Charles, whose family has been part of the Slane community for generations.
O’Malley signed the first cask that will be filled with whiskey from the distillery. He was joined by Whiting as well as Brooke Brown Barzun, fifth generation family shareholder of Brown-Forman, and Henry and Alex Conyngham of Slane.
The distillery and visitor center, which is in the historic stables complex adjacent to Slane Castle, will involve the 18th century buildings being restored and converted to house both the production operations and the consumer experience, the company said.
The first Slane Irish whiskeys will be launched to market in early 2017. The company said it will initially use high quality whiskey purchased from other Irish distilleries and finished to Slane’s exacting recipes and specifications while the first whiskey from the distillery is laid down to mature. Upon completion, it will have a potential output of more than 600,000 cases.
Follow the progress of Slane Distillery at www.facebook.com/slanewhiskey, via Twitter @SlaneWhiskey and via Instagram @SlaneWhiskey.