The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

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Page 149 of 152

CELEBRATIONS Irish Times THE EXPANDED MIDLETON DISTILLERY HOSTS AN EPIC HOUSEWARMING PARTY PHOTO COURTESY OF IRISH DISTILLERS by Camper English P PHOTO COURTESY OF IRISH DISTILLERS All of the Irish Distillers brands were poured at the party, including Paddy Irish Whiskey, soon relaunching in the U.S. market. PHOTO COURTESY OF IRISH DISTILLERS The true star of the Housewarming: Jameson Irish Whiskey. ernod Ricard's Irish Distillers Group has a lot to celebrate lately, so they threw an appropriately-massive daylong party for 900 Irish and international guests at their Midleton distillery in County Cork this fall. Called The Housewarming, the event introduced partygoers to the newly-built Garden Stillhouse holding three gleaming, giant copper pot stills (nearly doubling their current capacity), as well as a new on-site Whiskey Academy and brand Archives. In addition to touring these facilities, guests including Prime Minister Enda Kenny and Ballymaloe Cookery School founder Darina Allen were treated to cooper master classes, artisan food stalls from local restaurants, and guided tastings of the single pot still whiskey line made and aged on-site. Those whiskeys, including the expressions of Redbreast, Green Spot, Yellow Spot and Midleton, were a second reason for the celebration, as it was announced that all the remaining bottlings of them not currently on the U.S. market soon will be. Additionally, Paddy blended Irish whiskey will relaunch in the U.S. and introduce two flavors this fall. Ireland's most famous traditional band Along with servings of whiskey, The Chieftains perform for the crowd at there were helpings of education the evening event. and inspiration at talks dished up by the likes of cocktail historian David Wondrich, beverage innovator Nick Strangeway, and scent artist Sissel Tolass. The Housewarming also marked a significant staff change for Irish Distillers, as it was the last official function for Master Distiller Barry Crockett. After 32 years in the position, he passed the reins to Brian Nation, whom Crockett personally trained for the role. To cap the end of the afternoon event, the older stillhouse at Midleton was renamed in Crockett's honor. That evening, the celebration moved to one of the barrel-aging warehouses that was reconfigured to host dinner for industry legends like the former head bartender of the American Bar at The Savoy Hotel, Peter Dorelli, and the owners of some of the world's best bars, including Trick Dog in San Francisco, the Dead Rabbit in New York and Le Coq in Paris. While guests dined on local meat and seafood prepared by Ballymaloe chefs and drank Jameson & Ginger cocktails, they were serenaded by some of Ireland's leading traditional musicians including the multi-Grammy-winning band The Chieftains, who also recently celebrated a 50-year milestone of playing together. All told the Housewarming was an observance of Irish Distillers' past achievements, present successes, and preparations for a bigger and brighter future ahead. november 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  149 TP1113_109-156.indd 149 10/24/13 9:18 AM

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