Sweet taste of success for Newry whiskey firm
Newry-based whiskey company, Matt D’Arcy & Co Limited has been relaunched and has unveiled its first whiskies in over 100 years: a 17-year-old single malt and a 10-year-old blend, aimed at the super-premium and premium whiskey markets respectively.
The releases herald the revival of whiskey production in the South Ulster region, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty that has centuries of heritage in the distillation of whiskey.
17-year-old single malt
Matt D’Arcy’s super-premium whiskey is a 17-year-old single malt limited edition of only 384 numbered bottles. Prior to hand bottling, the liquid has spent twelve months finishing in a rum cask: a reference to the Barbadian rum barrels that once arrived in the merchant city of Newry via its famous canal. That same canal provided a reverse gateway to Matt D’Arcy Whiskey achieving its world class reputation in the 19th Century.
This exceptional whiskey is bottled in handblown Italian crystal glass: each one unique in shape. The equally unique spirit has a distinctive light spiciness with subtle notes of honey, vanilla, apple sweetness, almonds, cinnamon and plum providing a warm, rewarding after-taste.
Tasting notes (without water)
Aromas: Experience silky-smooth layers of vanilla sweetness, honey, peppers and spices that tail-off into a warm, rewarding after-taste.
Palate: light spiciness with subtle notes of honey, vanilla, apple sweetness, almonds, cinnamon and plum.
The limited-edition gift box (70cl) retails at €375
Matt D’Arcy’s other release is a 10-year old grain whiskey blended with 17-year old single malt finished in port casks. It is rich on the palate with plenty of dried fruit sweetness with just a touch of oak.
Tasting notes (without water)
Aromas: Experience citrus and fruity layers of conserve sweetness and spice
Palate: Rich, sweet dried fruit spiciness with notes of barley sugar, malt and a touch of oak
Gift box edition (70cl) is currently available at €109
Matt D’Arcy’s Whiskey is currently available to purchase exclusively from the Celtic Whiskey Shop on Dawson Street in Dublin or online at www.celticwhiskeyshop.com
Latest statistics show that consumption of Irish whiskey in the international marketplace is increasing, with 2019 sales in the U.S. alone showing a near 14% increase on the previous year.
The arrival on the market of these premium and super-premium whiskies follows the announcement of a £7.3m (€8m) investment in the original site of the Matt D’Arcy Whiskey Company, with plans for an onsite distillery, restaurant, Victorian bar and international visitor centre.
Historian and owner of Matt D’Arcy, Michael McKeown said: “It is a great triumph after so much hard work to be able to release these first batches of Matt D’Arcy whiskey. The discovery of the water source used in the original Matt D’Arcy Whiskey more than 200 years ago was a huge moment for us, and to see the whiskey now going to market has made this a really rewarding journey. The historical prominence of this area in the distilling of whiskey was significant and we are look forward to restoring that reputation.”
Andrew Cowan, Chief Executive of the Matt D’Arcy Whiskey Company added: “We are thrilled to be able to bring to market such a special old single malt along with our innovative blend to revive the whiskey making tradition in the Newry area. It has been a long time in the making, but now we mark the start of production of Matt D’Arcy’s whiskey range and our plan is to bring forward subsequent new batches later in the year.
“The whiskies we are producing are aimed at the premium and super premium markets and will appeal to international whiskey collectors and enthusiasts or those looking for a very special whiskey to enjoy at home.
“Irish Whiskey is in serious demand in the international market. Statistics from the Department of International Trade show whiskey distilled in Northern Ireland worth £26.6m (€29m) is exported annually, with Northern Ireland distilleries contributing to Irish whiskey growth globally”