By SAM BUTLER
Mourne Dew Distillery in Warrenpoint, County Down, has developed new spirits under the Seven Bens brand for Lidl Ireland under its successful Kickstart programme for smaller food and drink producers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Northern Ireland craft distillery, which produces gins, poitin and Irish whiskey, was approached by Lidl Ireland to submit products for consideration.
“The upshot of this was the development by us of our new ‘Seven Bens’ range of spirits,” explains Mourme Dew’s commercial director Noel Mills.
“Being in a smaller bottle with lower Ather ranges but still made to the very highest quality, Seven Bens represents an affordable option for consumers who are perhaps not familiar with our brands but are still keen to try us out,” he adds.
The initial offerings in the Seven Bens range include a new formulation of the distillery’s cold distilled pure Irish gin, a sweet raspberry, strawberry and mint gin and a hazelnut poitín liqueur.
Explaining the choice of Seven Bens as the brand, he says: “The word ‘ben’ comes from ‘beann’, the Irish gaelic for a mountain peak with the original Irish name for the Mourne Mountains, which overlook our distillery, as ‘Beanna Biorche’ or Biorche’s Peaks.
“There are seven peaks in the Mournes over 700 metres in height and to trek all seven in one go is considered one of the great challenges of Mourne hillwalking. Hence ‘Seven Bens’,” he adds.
The new brand is “a small homage to the greatness of these ancient peaks and a statement that here at Mourne Dew we aspire to the highest highs possible,” he continues.
The image design on the Seven Bens bottle was developed by renowned Irish artist Kathryn Callaghan and is based on an aerial view of those peaks.
For the record they are: Slieve Donard, Slieve Commedagh, Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Meelmore, Slieve Meelbeg, Slieve Binnian and Slieve Lamagan.
Seven Bens spirits are now available across the island of Ireland exclusively in 200 Lidl stores through the Kickstart programme, which has enabled many smaller food and drink companies to move up to a full listing with the supermarket chain.
“They have high standards and stringent quality assurance requirements which Kickstart suppliers have to meet and we are delighted to get recognition from them of our own standards of excellence,” adds Mr Farrell.
“We hope that their vote of confidence in us will help promote us and our brands to a wider audience than our own resources would otherwise allow.
“We also hope that our followers and subscribers will vote with their feet and their money and step into their nearest Lidl and pick up a couple of bottles of Seven Bens. Your cocktail cabinet will look bare without them.”