October 31, 2016

‘Project Irish Whiskey’


(October 2016) – The Irish Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Ann Anderson, recently joined the Irish Whiskey Association at the Irish Embassy in Washington D.C for the U.S. launch of the ‘Protect Irish Whiskey Campaign’, which aims to address the sale of products in international markets that are wrongly named, advertised, packaged or displayed as Irish Whiskey. Irish Whiskey carries Geographical Indication protection status and by law must be distilled and matured in wooden casks on the island of Ireland for at least three years.

The campaign is directed to Irish Whiskey producers, distributors and all who value Irish Whiskey, asking them to highlight any potentially misleading products to the Irish Whiskey Association so that action can be taken. As part of this campaign, the Irish Whiskey Association has arranged meetings with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the Distilled Spirits Council in order to discuss the furtherance of protection of Irish Whiskey in the United States.

Bernard Walsh, Chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association and founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery said: “Irish Whiskey is the fastest growing premium spirits category in the world. Global market share is set to grow by 300% by 2030 to 12%. By 2025 production will rise by 41% from 2010 levels. While we have achieved Geographical Indication status for Irish Whiskey, which is significant in terms of protecting the integrity of category, we must not rest on our laurels. As Irish Whiskey continues to perform well, we are likely to be challenged considerably more in terms of misleading products, which is why this enforcement campaign is important. We very much welcome Ambassador Anderson’s support in ensuring the category reaches its full potential and also the opportunity to meet with and foster relations with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the Distilled Spirits Council. With the support of the Irish embassy and these organizations, the Irish Whiskey Association is taking the requisite steps to ensure the integrity of the category is protected in its most important market.”

The Irish Whiskey Association is urging anyone who notices potentially misleading products to contact them and, where possible, report the following specifics:

  • Brand name
  • Wording on the label
  • Names of any companies identified on the label
  • Name and address of the outlet where the product is being sold
  • Dated photographs of the display


About Walsh Whiskey Distillery:

Established in 1999 by husband and wife, Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, and located on the 18th century Royal Oak estate by the River Barrow in County Carlow, the Walsh Whiskey Distillery Company is a leading independent producer of super-premium and ultra-premium, triple-distilled, craft, Irish whiskies. Led by founder Bernard Walsh, and with a strong board of industry veterans, the company has built a portfolio of international, award-winning drinks brands. In the United States, these include a range of four Irish whiskies under The Irishman, The Hot Irishman Irish coffee, The Irishman Irish Cream liqueur and Writers Tears. Demand for the critically acclaimed Irishman and Writers Tears brands currently exceeds supply in the 40 countries they are distributed to worldwide.