Brown-Forman has introduced its new Slane Irish Whiskey into the UK through a small number of selected bars around the UK.
The whiskey is a blend of grain and malt whiskeys aged in virgin American oak, seasoned ex-whiskey American oak and ex-oloroso sherry casks. It has been developed by the US-based drinks giant with the Conyngham family of Slane.
Distributed in the UK through Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands, it will be available from this month at Edinburgh bars Hamiltons, The Blackbird, The Voyage of Buck and Treacle – all part of Big Red Teapot group – and The Finnieston and Kelvingrove Café in Glasgow.
Other bars stocking it will include East Village in Leeds, The Hideout in Bath and The Sun Tavern, Ladies & Gentlemen, Old Street Records, Venn Street Records and London Cocktail Club in London.
Currently made with spirit sourced from other distilleries, it will shortly be produced at the new Slane Distillery which is being built in renovated 250-year-old gothic farm buildings in the grounds of Slane Castle in County Meath, 40 miles north of Dublin. Both the distillery and visitor experience centre are due to open this summer.
Developed with the Conyngham family, it will be Brown-Forman’s first distillery outside of the US. Brown-Forman’s other brands include American whiskeys Jack Daniel’s, Old Forester and Woodford Reserve.
The distillery will feature column and pot stills which, once up and running, will create a range of different expressions for the future.
John Hayes, chief marketing officer at Brown-Forman, said: “From the state-of-the-art distillery within the grounds of the historic Slane Castle to the unique triple-casked maturation process, we believe Slane Irish Whiskey will be loved by bartenders and consumers alike.
“The commitment and investment by Brown-Forman comes at an opportune time for the sector which is experiencing unprecedented global demand. As we expand our global whiskey portfolio, Slane will play a key role.”
The process of maturation gives Slane Irish Whiskey a more complex and robust flavour, while retaining the warm smoothness associated with Irish whiskey. It has notes of fruit and spice, sweetened by layers of rich caramel, vanilla and butterscotch. The result is a bold but smooth spirit unlike traditional blended Irish whiskeys.
Tasting notes from Brown-Forman
Colour: A warm, golden topaz with hues of rich toffee.
Nose: Complex fruit with drizzles of caramel, butterscotch and vanilla; brown spice and toasted oak.
Taste: Spicy at first but quickly sweetened with rich caramel, vanilla and butterscotch atop a deep layer of dried fruit.
Finish: Lingering hints of dry fruit and caramelised sugar.