Despite the COVID pandemic, Irish Whiskey is showing remarkable resilience with continued announcements of new brands and distillery projects proceeding apace.
One of those, Titanic Distillers in Belfast, (see The Spirits Business link here) piqued my interest as it involves a bit of a story.
The story begins with a lucky individual winning the lottery, Peter Lavery, back in 1996. (Irish Times link here)
Apart from buying the fancy cars and luxury holidays, Peter also released some whiskey brands. Titanic and Danny Boy being the most noticeable.
Launched in May 2011, (launch link here) Titanic Whiskey gained a lot of attention and sold widely. By December 2011 events took a bit of a twist. Beam bought out the Cooley/Kilbeggan operations run by John Teeling. (Sale link here) At one fell swoop the source of Titanic’s whiskey (and others too, see link here) was turned off and stocks began to dwindle.
Undeterred, a plan to build a distillery in the historic Crumlin Gaol under the Belfast Distillery Company (BDC) name was started in 2013. (BDC link here)
Then all went quiet.
Rumours abounded, but nothing confirmed,then in 2019 a bottle of McConnell’s Whisky appeared!
The Belfast Distillery Company was alive and well under new ownership (Conecuch Brands link here) with Mr Lavery nowhere to be seen.
Some of the folks involved in the original BDC plan later resurfaced at Hinch Distillery (link to my blog here) in County Down.
But what of Mr Lavery?
Well in late 2020 a group lodged a planning proposal to turn the old Pump House beside the original Titanic Docks into a whiskey distillery.
Here’s hoping it’s third time lucky for the irrepressible Peter Lavery!
All photos courtesy sources credited below images.