American drinks giant Jack Daniels are keen to enter the Irish whiskey market and have revealed plans to open a distillery in Ireland.
Jack Daniels is one of the most recognisable brands in the world and has a range of products including Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Gentleman Jack, Honey whiskey, Tennessee Fire and of course the classic Jack Daniel’s Old No 7 Tennessee.
Jack Daniels is owned by Brown-Forman who also own other famous brands such as Canadian Mist whisky and Finlandia vodka.
However, it is Irish whiskey that is the fastest growing spirit on the American market. There are now 2.7m cases sold in the US per year, five times as much as a decade ago.
Brown-Forman have purchased a distillery for €48.9m ($55m) on the grounds of Slane Castle, which is 30 miles from Dublin.
They are looking to open the distillery late next year and will start selling their own Irish whiskey in 2017. They plan to offer a range of blended, pot still, and single grain whiskeys.
It will help Brown-Forman keep up the pace with another US drink giant Beam Suntory – famous for the Jim Beam brand – who bought the Cooley distillery in 2012 for €71m.
Slane Castle owner Lord Henry Mountcharles said: “Brown Forman was absolutely the people we wanted to partner with because of their vast experience in the whiskey business.
“It is a publicly quoted company and a member of the Brown family is still chairman of the board.”
Jack Daniels has been a favourite drink of many rock stars over the years and Brown-Forman couldn’t have picked a better site to begin their Irish adventure.
Slane Castle has hosted some of the biggest rock concerts in Irish history. Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, U2, Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam and Oasis are just some of the huge acts who have performed there in the past.
Last weekend US rock legends Foo Fighters added their name to that list for a second time. Lord Mountcharles invited members of the Brown family to the concert.
He said: “My son Alex and I have been working on this since 2009. It has been something of a long and winding road but with a fabulous conclusion to it.”
He also assured Irish music fans that the partnership with Brown-Forman will not interfere with future rock concerts, and promised they will continue to attract the biggest bands in the world.