Powerscourt investors raise a glass to Irish whiskey

The €20m-plus Powerscourt Distillery has begun producing Irish whiskey, and will open its doors to visitors early in the new year

Fercullen whiskey from the new Powerscourt Distillery in Co Wicklow. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Fercullen whiskey from the new Powerscourt Distillery in Co Wicklow. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Barely a month goes by without yet another whiskey distillery opening here. On November 27th, Blackwater Distillery in Lismore, Co Waterford, became the 21st operational Irish whiskey distillery on the island. There are another 25 in the pipeline, with five slated to open in the coming months.

While this highlights a remarkable recovery for an industry that was once in the doldrums, there are questions about the long-term viability of the sector. Can a country as small as Ireland really be home to so many distilleries and visitor centres? Is consolidation inevitable?

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