Irish whiskey bonding received a huge vote of endorsement recently. In February, the County Clare bonder Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Company – makers of JJ Corry Irish Whiskey – was selected for the Walpole Luxury Brands of Tomorrow Programme 2018.
Walpole is a luxury industry trade body whose 200-strong membership includes Bentley, Harrods and the Adare Manor. Its yearly programme identifies 12 entrepreneurial luxury brands that have captured the industry’s attention and, through a year-long programme of workshops and mentoring, helps them to develop their business skills and accelerate their growth.
Louise McGuane set up the Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Company in 2015 and in the process became Ireland’s first modern whiskey bonder. She sources whiskey from Irish distilleries and matures it in a purpose-built bonded rack house on her family farm in Clare.
She is looking forward to the opportunities that will be offered as a result of being chosen as a 2018 Brand of Tommy.
“When I founded this business, I positioned it squarely in the luxury sector,” she says. “This is reflected in everything we do, from the rarity and maturity of the whiskies we use to the detailing of our packaging, our high-end distribution strategy and planned future releases.”
She hopes her participation in this programme will help her to develop this further. “Irish whiskey is in unprecedented growth globally and the super-premium and ultra-premium sectors are increasingly fuelling this growth,” says Louise. “Our goal is to become the breakout Irish luxury whiskey brand and as a Walpole Brand of Tomorrow we will be able to avail of connections and mentorship from some of the world’s best-known luxury brands allowing us to accelerate our path to that goal.”