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The Copeland Distillery has today announced that it has secured a new distribution partner to support its growth aims in the Republic of Ireland. The deal with leading distributor Classic Drinks, will see the Donaghadee producer’s full spirit range of gin, rum and whiskey available to more than 3,000 bars, restaurants and hotels across Ireland. With the Distillery reaching sales of 12,500 cases in 2021, this new partnership will support the business deliver its ambition to grow sales to over 25,000 cases across the UK and Ireland in 2022.

Broadening the availability of the brand to consumers in the Republic of Ireland is an important landmark for the brand, and the deal is testament to the quality of Copeland’s range and its ongoing response to consumer demand for products that are strong in quality and provenance.

Mark Prentice, Commercial Director at Copeland Spirits said:

“Our partnership with Classic Drinks is an important milestone for the Distillery as we continue to establish our brand in Ireland. Classic Drinks’ customer base of over 3000 bars, hotels and restaurants will allow us to showcase the breadth of our entire spirits range, from our award-winning gins and casked rums, to our Merchants’ Quay blended Irish whiskey.

“2022 is a major year for us. We have developed a varied portfolio of world-class, great-tasting spirits that represent Northern Ireland’s craftsmanship and history. Celebrating the Copeland Islands, Donaghadee’s historic harbour and the local community is really important to us and we look forward to working with Classic Drinks to introduce our spirits to more consumers across the island of Ireland.”

The Copeland Distillery is located 20 minutes from Belfast in the historic harbour town of Donaghadee, County Down, overlooking the Copeland Islands. Producing a range of Irish gins, rums and whiskey, the Distillery’s spirits all reflect the rich maritime history of the local area.

Brian O’Riordan, Buyer at Classic Drinks said:

“The Copeland Distillery has been on our radar for some time, so it is exciting to have added its full range to our portfolio for 2022. Our customers want great quality spirits that tell a great story, and the Copeland range ticks those boxes for us. It is a varied range which is important too, and be it the award-winning Navy Strength gin, the innovative cask-aged rums or the expertly blended Irish whiskey, all products are consistent in both quality and their genuine connection to Donaghadee. All of us at Classic Drinks are impressed by each product’s taste and how each bottle looks on-shelf so we’re confident that our customers will share our excitement as we start to introduce the range over the coming weeks.”

The Copeland Distillery’s gin range includes the award-winning Jones 1778 Navy Strength Gin, which was developed in honour of US Navy Captain John Paul Jones’s victory in the battle of the Copelands. Copeland’s Traditional Irish Gin is rested in Kentucky bourbon casks for 120 days to give it a caramel colour and a hint of bourbon flavour and is then transferred to Oloroso sherry casks to rest for a further 20 days, to enhance the colour further and bring a touch of spice. Bottled at 57% ABV, this unique gin is a must for any gin connoisseur or mixologist.

One of only a handful of distilleries in Ireland producing rum, Copeland launched a limited-edition Bordeaux casked rum late 2021 to sit alongside its Smugglers’ Reserve and Smuggler’s Overproof rums. A blend of three to five-year-old aged dark rum from Barbados and double distilled pot-still rum produced at The Copeland Distillery, the rum is aged in Grand Cru Bordeaux red wine casks. The result are intense aromas of allspice and citrus, met with subtle hints of black peppercorn, fresh oak and brown sugar. To taste, the rum offers flavours of tropical fruits, orange and banana, before a cherry and dark chocolate finish.

One of the first bars to take the Copeland range is The Belfry, Stoneybatter in Dublin. Peter McGettigan, General Manager in the Belfry said:

“We’re really looking forward to creating some fantastic cocktails using the Copeland range. Not only is the Grand Cru Bordeaux rum one of the finest cask-finished spirits produced on the island of Ireland but the Copeland team are a joy to work with. We love to showcase quality spirits from across Ireland and the Copeland Distillery has some great stories to tell and incredible products to offer our customers.”


For more information on Copeland Distillery’s full range visit copelanddistillery.com


Issue 12 Irish Whiskey Magazine

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