LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 2, 2015) – Brown-Forman announced it has acquired all shares of Slane Castle Irish Whiskey Ltd. and will invest $50 million to build a new distillery and consumer experience on the historic Slane Castle Estate.
“We are very excited about this new venture into Irish Whiskey,” said Brown-Forman CEO Paul Varga. “Brown-Forman has a long history of bringing great whiskey to the world, such as Woodford Reserve, which we introduced in 1996 and has since grown to become one of the world’s leading super premium bourbon brands.”
“Irish whiskey has been one of the fastest growing segments in the global whiskey category over the last few years,” said Lawson Whiting, executive vice president and chief brands & strategy officer for Brown-Forman Brands, “and we’re excited to be partnering with the Conyngham family as we build the new Slane Irish Whiskey Distillery and introduce new Irish whiskeys to the world.”
The new distillery will be in County Meath, Ireland, at the estate home of Henry Conyngham, the eighth Marquess Conyngham, and his son, Alex Conyngham, the Earl of Mount Charles.
Louisville-based Brown-Forman will open the Slane Irish Whiskey Distillery in late 2016, Whiting said, and introduce new Irish whiskeys in the spring of 2017. It initially will use high quality whiskey purchased from other Irish distilleries then finished to Slane’s specifications while whiskey made at the new distillery is laid down to mature in the nearby Irish countryside.
“We’ll use proprietary methods to create unique and high quality taste profiles to position our brands in the premium and super premium segments, with a range of blended, pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys that will delight whiskey aficionados and consumers alike,” Whiting said.
“Our family,” Alex Conyngham said, “has been part of the Slane community for many generations, and we are pleased to join forces with Brown-Forman to bring our special part of Ireland to the world. Our commitment to caring for our land, cultivating barley and our family legacy are consistent with Brown-Forman’s long-term approach to whiskey making, and we believe that this aligned approach will bring great success.”
Henry Conyngham added, “Our family will be a key part of the brand-building model for these new Irish whiskeys and we are thrilled at the prospect of working for many years to come with Brown-Forman on developing the trademarks and to welcoming friends to the new distillery, right next door to our ancestral home. We know that Brown-Forman is the perfect partner to take these new Irish whiskeys to the U.S. and other markets across the globe.”
Slane Castle is located in the middle of a 1,500-acre estate in the heart of the Boyne Valley, 30 miles north of Dublin.
Brown-Forman Corp., a 140-year-old beverage alcohol maker, has nearly 4,200 employees and sells in approximately 160 countries worldwide. Its brands include Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Canadian Mist, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, New Mix, Tuaca, and Woodford Reserve. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by For more information about the company, please visit .