World facing Irish whiskey drought

World facing Irish whiskey drought

PanARMENIAN.Net - Whiskey magnate John Teeling has warned that there may be a scarcity of the Irish spirit within the next few years due to surging global demand, The Irish Times reports.

Teeling, who has played a vital role in the renaissance of Irish whiskey, said the Japanese market is already experiencing a similar problem due to the popularity of its product.

“Soon there will be a shortage of Irish whiskey,” Teeling (72) told The Irish Times. “What we are making now, you won’t sell for seven years. So we will have a shortage if the rate of growth continues at a cumulative rate over the next six or seven years.”

Teeling, who sold Cooley Distillery to Japanese drinks group Suntory for €73 million in 2012, said Suntory this month started withdrawing sales of its Hakushu 12-year and Hibiki 17-year single-malts because they have no whiskey left.

Suntory’s chief executive Takeshi Ninami has said it could take up to a decade for Japanese whiskey distilleries to meet demand from consumers and retailers.

Sales of Irish whiskey are growing at 10 per cent-plus a year in more than 75 countries. Teeling has built the Great Northern Distillery (GND) at the old Harp Brewery in Louth to supply bulk malt and grain whiskey to the multitude of new brands on the market. Meanwhile, his two sons set up Dublin’s first new distillery in a century in the Liberties in Dublin.

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