Plans for £12m whiskey distillery in Northern Ireland scrapped

Plans to construct a £12 million distillery for Niche Drinks’s The Quiet Man brand in Londonderry have been scrapped, almost two years after the project was first granted approval.

Planning permission for the distillery was first granted by Derry & Strabane District Council in early 2017, with the redevelopment of four existing buildings, formerly army barracks dating to 1841, on Ebrington Square.

The site was to exclusively produce Irish malt whiskey, with a projected total capacity of 500,000 litres of pure alcohol per year.

However, as reported by the BBC, the project will now not go ahead. Brand owner Niche Drinks told the BBC that “commercial factors have brought about a change in the decision”.

The Quiet Man site was set to be the first distillery to be opened in Londonderry for 200 years and was expected to bring 35 jobs to the area.

According to the BBC, Londonderry was once a prolific whiskey producer and by the end of the 19th century, was distilling more whiskey than any other city in the world,

As early as August this year the Quiet Man whiskey brand posted on social media about whiskey stills being selected, with the distillery expected to open in 2020. It is unclear if they intend to house the stills at another site.

In April this year, US-based spirits group Luxco bought a controlling stake in its long-term partner Niche Drinks. Niche Drinks has produced Luxco’s St. Brendan’s Irish Cream brand for a number of years, while both companies collaborate on The Quiet Man Irish whiskey.

While the Irish project is not going ahead, Luxco has opened a US$35 million Bourbon distillery in Kentucky this year and has finalised plans for a new Tequila distillery in Jalisco in partnership with Destiladora González González.

the drinks business has contacted Niche Drinks for comment.

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