July 12, 2013 – More than a year after his supply of whiskey for Slane Castle Whiskey was cut off, Lord Henry Mount Charles has received approval for his plans to build a distillery at the castle in County Meath. Slane Castle Whiskey was introduced in 2010 using whiskey sourced from Cooley, but the supplies were cut off in early 2012 after Beam acquired Cooley and started terminating bulk sales of whiskey to independent bottlers without long-term contracts. The family was forced to withdraw its whiskey from the market at that point, and started looking at the possibility of building its own distillery.
Now, the Mount Charles family has received approval from county officials for a €12 million ($15.7 million USD) distillery that will be built on the stable grounds at Slane Castle in partnership with the family-owned Camus Cognac of France. The two families have pledged just under 50% of the total projected cost, and according to the Irish Times, will be seeking additional investors to join the project. A visitors center is projected to draw 50,000 tourists annually, and the facility is expected to create 25 full-time jobs.
The distillery is scheduled to be completed in 2015, and the first whiskey from Slane Castle is likely to be a blended whiskey that will hit the market in 2018, according to Lord Alex Mount Charles, Lord Henry’s son and the managing director for Slane Castle Whiskey. The distillery will use barley grown on the castle’s grounds and get its water supply from a river that runs through the estate.
Editor’s note: More information on this story is available in Episodes 365 and 366 of WhiskyCast from April, 2012.
Links: Slane Castle Whiskey