The Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak, Ireland took a big step closer to achieving its commissioning next January with the arrival yesterday of almost 30 tonnes of copper and steel whiskey distilling equipment. The cargo made a journey of 1,046 kilometres (650 miles) by road and sea from Forsyths in north-west of Scotland. The crown jewels in the shipment were the three giant copper pot stills and column stills that will be the prime engines in the distillation of up to 8 million bottles of Irish whiskey annually.
There to greet the convoy as it arrived at the 18th century Holloden House estate were Bernard and Rosemary Walsh (the founders of Walsh Whiskey) and their family, company employees and members of the community of the small village of Royal Oak, which has been very supportive of the €25 million project since it was announced in 2013. The whiskey distillery is the first to be developed in the south-east of Ireland in two centuries.
Weighing between four and five tonnes each and measuring up to 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in height, the largest of the pot stills will have a capacity of 15,000 liters. Both of whiskey’s main ingredients, water and barley, will be in plentiful local supply from the surrounding barley-growing farms and the Barrow Valley Aquifer, a massive natural underground reservoir containing 200 million cubic meters of water.
The distillery will produce Walsh Whiskey’s Irish whiskey brands, The Irishman and Writer’s Tears. The distillery will be unique as the only distillery in Ireland to produce all three types of Irish whiskey, pot, malt and grain, under the roof of a single still house. The other Irish distilleries that produce all three types have separate buildings for the pot and column stills used.