Mountcharles family plan to build whiskey distillery at Slane
The owners of Slane Castle have announced plans to build a whiskey distillery.
The Mountcharles family, which own the castle that is synonymous with large outdoor rock concerts, are seeking planning permission for a distillery to be built on disused stable yards.
The family have been selling Slane Castle Irish Whiskey since 2009. It is made in Cooley Distillery, but the family were angered when the distillery’s new owners, Jim Beam, took the decision last December to stop distilling the blend because it wanted to retain all whiskey stocks for its own products.
That decision has prompted the Mountcharles family to bring forward plans for their own distillery.
They are proposing taking water from the adjacent river Boyne and using 1,200 tonnes of barley grown on the local estate.
All going to plan, distillation will start in 2014, producing 5,000 casks a year of high-end single malt and pot-still whiskeys. There will also be an option to produce blended whiskeys.
Henry Mountcharles said they had “several million euro” secured from outside investment, although he declined to name the exact sum involved.
His son Alex, who is the manager of Slane Castle Irish Whiskey, acknowledged that any return on their investment could take eight to 10 years. “As a family we have to take the long-term view. We’ve been here since 1703.”
“This project, although it is a slow burner, is a good sustainable fit for the future of the estate. It will be my children who will see the real benefit, but that’s a decision that we are willing to take.”