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Irish whiskey academy opens to public

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard is opening its Irish Whiskey Academy to the general public for the first time with courses set to be made available to spirits enthusiasts from November.

David McCabe leads a class at the Irish Whiskey Academy

The Irish Whiskey Academy was first opened to the trade in September 2013 with the aim of improving the understanding about the quality and provenance of Irish whiskey by teaching students about its production process and history. Now, a range of course are set to be made available to the general public.

David Byrne, head of brand education and visitor centres at Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, said: “After years of planning, we’re delighted to finally be welcoming whiskey fans from around the world to the Irish Whiskey Academy in Midleton, the home of Irish Distillers. As the first of its kind, the Academy heralds a new era of knowledge and understanding of Irish whiskey and we look forward to welcoming people to Midleton and helping them to discover the heritage and unique flavour profile that Irish whiskeys have to offer.”

The first two-day ‘enthusiasts’ course will take place in December and will give participants the chance to learn about brewing, fermentation, distillation and blending, watch a live cooperage demonstration and take part in a tutored whiskey tasting with one of the production Masters.

As part of the €1,199 package, participants will stay in five-star accommodation, visit one of the area’s top restaurants and at the end of the course will receive a personalised bottle of Irish whiskey.

One-day ‘discoverer’ courses will be available from February 2015 while four-hour afternoon courses will be available from next month.

Courses will be tailored to focus on specific brands within Irish Distillers’ family of whiskeys, which includes Jameson, Green Spot, Redbreast and Midleton Very Rare.

Simon Fay, international marketing director at Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard since July 2014, added: “The opening of the Irish Whiskey Academy represents a proud moment for the Irish Whiskey category, and for Irish Distillers and Pernod Ricard in particular. The company has been largely responsible for the resurgence and dynamic global growth of the Irish whiskey category in the last two decades and we’re fully committed to continuing this growth.

“The opening of the Irish Whiskey Academy is a clear demonstration of both our confidence in the future of Irish whiskey and our commitment to driving sustainable category growth through investment and innovation, and we’re hopeful that it will prove to be popular with spirits fans and trade professionals alike the world over.”

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