The Irishman range of whiskeys produced by Walsh Whiskey has undergone a rebranding.
This brings wholesale changes to The Irishman’s bottle, labelling and packaging.
This follows a strategic review that commenced in April 2020. Walsh Whiskey was assisted in the review by Bord Bia’s (The Irish Food Board) specialist Insight Centre — The Thinking House. The design project was undertaken by HERE design agency in London.
The new look supports the whiskey brand’s target of doubling sales across its 50-plus markets within five years.
“As the Irish whiskey category continues to develop with increasing variety, it is important that we are clear in our proposition to whiskey consumers,” says Walsh Whiskey Founder Bernard Walsh. “Our message is simple: The Irishman will always be single malt focused — whether championed in pure expressions or blends — and that it will always be triple distilled to leave a lasting impression.”
“We respect and honor Ireland’s great distilling heritage, while also exploring exciting new innovations through the use of rare and unusual woods and finishes, as well as cereal varieties, to influence the single malt spirit,” he adds. “To date this has seen us work with Florio Marsala, Oloroso Sherry, Caribbean Rum and Irish Peated Red Ale. In the generational pursuit of whiskey excellence, our quest for the perfect dram, or taoscán [tay-scawn] of single malt, is just beginning.”
The biggest change in The Irishman rebrand is the introduction of a tall, tapered bottle. All expressions in the range now come with a cork. A significant feature of the bottle is a series of embossed phrases around the lower part of the bottle, stressing the brand’s purpose “to pursue a lifelong journey in search of the perfect dram/ taoscán of single malt, while respecting past traditions and with ambition for future possibilities.”
The rebrand rolled out Feb. 3 in Ireland before extending into Europe and Canada from April onwards, the U.S. in the summer and the rest of the world in the second half of 2022.
A new brand icon is on the label and product packaging, which also contain a lot of the technical details of each expression. The icon features a capital letter ‘I’ (for Irishman) inside two-tone staves of a barrel.
Other features of the new labels are the addition of braille for the visually impaired and nutritional and calorific information on e-labels positioned on back of pack and online. The braille highlighting The Irishman’s brand name, is also a tribute by Bernard Walsh to the memory of his own grandfather, Jack Walsh, whose loss of vision made an impression on his grandson.
E-labelling is part of an EU initiative to ensure that consumers have access to more information about their food and drink products. The e-label is both an on-the-bottle and online feature (QR code), containing information about the whiskey’s nutritional and calorific features. Walsh Whiskey is an early adopter of e-labels having participated in a pilot study organised by spiritsEUROPE (the European representative body for spirits companies) and CEEV (the representative body for wine companies).
Labels of the six core expressions of The Irishman range have a new color palette of cream, green, grey, blue and burgundy.
There are also changes to the composition of the range, with a change of name for one core expression and the addition of a limited edition to the core of the portfolio.
The Founder’s Reserve blend (70% single malt and 30% pot still) has been renamed The Harvest. The renaming of this core expression “honors the great contribution of the farming community in the whiskey-making process.” This whiskey has a mash bill of 100% Irish barley.
First released as a limited-edition bottling in 2018, The Irishman Caribbean Cask joins the portfolio’s core expressions, which also include The Harvest; Single Malt; 12-Year-Old Single Malt; 17-Year-Old Single Malt & the Vintage Cask. The Irishman Caribbean Cask Finish is a vatting of single malt and single pot still whiskeys finished for six months in Chairman’s Reserve Rum casks from the tropical Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, before being bottled at 46% ABV.
Walsh Whiskey is part of the Amber Beverage Group.