By SAM BUTLER
Multi-award winning Wild Atlantic Distillery, located near Strabane in wild, rugged and picturesque land within reach of the Atlantic, is planning a major expansion that will include the construction of a new state-of-the art distillery, expand its product portfolio and accelerate the growth in international sales.
The small batch distillery already has an impressive reputation for the quality and outstanding taste of its Irish gin and Irish vodka and is soon to release a single malt whiskey based on a recipe dating back over a century.
Wild Atlantic’s Irish gin was a winner last year of Best Northern Ireland Contemporary Gins and its vodka a double bronze winner.
Owned and run by brothers-in-law Brian Ash and Jim Nash, two successful businessmen, the company has exciting development plans for the business in a remote part of Tyrone.
The plans are driven by the duo’s long-standing passion about regenerating and sustaining the long history of independent, traditional, and craft distilleries in Ireland.
They have recently launched a fundraising campaign for the developments being planned that will grow the business and enhance its global reputation in the years ahead.
Their imaginative growth plans are already attracting substantial support from individual investors, members of the public and whiskey lovers through the Crowdcube Funding platform and moving steadily towards the funding target. Further investors are being encouraged.
Investors can count on the duo’s vast experience in management here and abroad.
Brian, an expert in marine engineering and electronics, is the founder of four successful businesses across Europe with over 20 years as an entrepreneur.
He has expertise in handling budgets in excess of €2 million with a variety of product development and commercial management functions, including research, design and development.
James Nash has 20 years’ senior management experience in hospitality in the US.
“The wild, rugged and beautiful land around our Wild Atlantic Distillery nurtures the perfect conditions for creating and ageing our traditionally crafted Irish whiskey, which will be released in 2025,” explains Brian.
“The Atlantic already provides the botanicals for our unique and distinctive gin,” he adds.
“Our whiskey is being made and produced using locally sourced premium ingredients. So customers can be certain of consistent, premium spirit in every cask.
“We hand select and source the very best oak casks (with full traceability to ensure the right type of maturation).
“Our New Make spirit has the finest and most exciting cask finishes, full maturation in bourbon, sherry, port wine and rum casks.
“We are proud to be the first distillery in 100 years in the North West of Northern Ireland to be producing Irish whiskey, award winning vodka and gin.
“We are a family owned distillery that makes all its own products in copper pot stills in our distillery.
“It’s an exciting and dynamic business that is part of the new wave of independent, traditional and craft distilleries blossoming in Ireland and especially here in the North,” he adds.
He describes the Wild Atlantic Irish Vodka as “small batch hand crafted with real Amalfi lemons sourced from Italy, using our natural process of extraction, capturing the intense fragrance and balance of acidity that only the best lemons in the world can achieve”.
Investors are backing a business that’s dedicated to heritage, provenance and sustainability.
“The barley used in the production of our spirits, once mashed, is recycled to a local farmer who uses it as a high protein natural feed for his calves and cattle,” continues Brian.
“We use organic botanicals in our Wild Atlantic Irish Gin, for example. Dillisk and kelp from the Atlantic shore, including seaweed, are hand harvested by the Talty family in County Clare.
“In our Wild Atlantic Amalfi Lemon Irish Vodka, no artificial flavours or additives are used.
“There’s no added sugar, only fresh Amalfi lemon extract using our natural process of extraction and pure vodka,” he adds.
The distillery uses a bore hole for its water source. The water in the production the spirits is filtered and recycled in an endless natural loop to prevent water wastage.
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