The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2018

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Page 69 of 100

june 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  69 It's hard to imagine a world without whiskey. Although the spirit was most likely first distilled around 100 A.D., the word "whiskey" did not appear formally in the dictionary until 1775. Samuel Johnson commented under its entry in his tome A Dictionary of the English Language that "the Irish sort is particularly distinguished for its pleasant and mild flavor." Fast-forward 100 years later, when Irish whiskey seized the crown as the world's most popular version of the spirit. The following century would usher in a tumultuous time for the category, but thanks to renewed commitment to the craft and tradition of pot-still distillation, it currently enjoys a renaissance of popularity with connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. At the head of innovation within the world of Irish whiskey are Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, the founders of Walsh Whiskey. Launched in 1999, the distiller already has a dedicated following and exceptional reputation throughout the 45 countries its bottlings see distribution. "Being a family-run business, we take a hands-on, personal approach to everything we do," Bernard Walsh says. "We are a small and growing team that has great pride in our journey to be one of Ireland's most important whiskey companies by creating exceptional and innovative whiskies." While whiskey as an overall category risks oversaturation as new brands join the burgeoning market, Irish whiskey still enjoys annual double-digit growth that began nearly 30 years ago. "It has taken the guts of 100 years to get back on track, but Irish whiskey was always excellent," says Walsh. "Its smooth and flexible taste profile is being rediscovered as new generations of consumers enjoy Irish whiskey in a wide variety of formats." Bernard Walsh stands amidst dozens of barrels at Walsh Whiskey's Royal Oak estate. The company can produce up to 650,000 cases of Irish whiskey annually. PHOTOS COURTESY OF WALSH WHISKEY by Matt Jackson "If you visit our distillery at Royal Oak you are guaranteed to experience nothing less than the royal treatment." "If you visit our distillery at Royal Oak, you are guaranteed to experience nothing less than the royal treatment." —Walsh Whiskey Co-Founder Bernard Walsh

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