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Press Release:

Copeland Distillery has announced two new whiskies marking its growth within a third spirits category, having launched its first whiskey product in 2021 alongside its existing range of gins and rums.

Merchants’ Quay ex Bordeaux Rum Cask Blended Irish Whiskey is available in two variations; a 46 per cent ABV and a cask strength 57.8 per cent ABV. The new products demonstrate the young Distillery’s craftsmanship with each blended whiskey consisting of three whiskies – grain, double distilled malts and triple distilled malts. The liquid is aged in four different casks and finished for nine months in Bordeaux Grand Cru red wine casks which previously held Copeland Smugglers’ Reserve rum.

The 46 per cent variety has an enjoyably sweet yet light aroma of rum and raisin ice cream, with undertones of dates and dried fruit. On the palate custard notes give a rich and velvety mouthfeel whilst its finish is complementary candied fruits with a mild hint of oak.

The 57.8 per cent ABV has a more subtle aroma of toffee, with a nutmeg and biscuity grain undertone. On the palate black pepper spice, and cream soda and caramel notes are evident before a finale of fresh fruit and fresh Pinotage.

Copeland revealed a major investment in whiskey production when it first moved into its current home in 2019, taking on a 125-year lease and revitalising the former cinema and Ards bottling Company site which lay unoccupied for more than 20 years.  Today, located 40 minutes from Belfast and just yards away from the historic harbour in Donaghadee, Copeland is now one of Ireland’s fastest growing and most innovative distilleries producing a range of award-winning Irish gins, rums and whiskey.

Founder of Copeland Distillery, Gareth Irvine, said:

“We are really excited to bring our Merchants’ Quay ex Bordeaux Rum Cask to market. We have ambitious plans for our whiskey range and since launching Merchants’ Quay, we have been working towards our goal of building credibility and establishing pedigree in the whiskey market. The Irish whiskey category has seen a huge influx of new distilleries and brands in the past decade. This new product release is another step towards positioning ourselves firmly in whiskey, and also a taste of what is to come ahead of the release of our single malt whiskey and pot-stilled whiskey which are currently being distilled and aged at our Distillery and expected late 2023.”

Each of the new Merchants’ Quay ex Bordeaux Rum Cask blended whiskies are available to the trade in Northern Ireland through Drinks Inc, and through Classic Drinks in the Republic of Ireland. The 46 per cent ABV whiskey is priced at £40.00 (RRP) for 700ml whilst the cask strength 57.8 per cent ABV spirit is priced at £60.00 (RRP) for 700ml.

For more information visit copelanddistillery.com. For inspiration on how to use the product, mixologists and at-home cocktail creators can visit The Copeland Distillery’s YouTube channel.


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