He used this knowledge to create a unique whiskey that has just been released for sale in the United States as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland and other major world markets.
Head of Liquid Development at Kirker Greer Spirits in Belfast, Richard has created a unique spirit, Shamrock Whiskey – launched on St Patrick’s Day – which is poised for international success and popularity with whiskey collectors remarkably different.
The company is part of Drinksology Kirker Greer, headquartered in Belfast, which Richard founded with long-time business partner and friend Steve Pattison in 2007. Since then the company has grown into one of the world’s most premium spirits dynamics, which also includes the multi-award winning Jawbox Gin which is distilled at Echlinville Distillery in Kircubbin, Co Down in association with former Belfast publican Gerry White, the public face of acclaimed gin.
The company now has an ethical portfolio spanning around 10 spirits categories from four continents, enjoyed in more than 50 countries around the world.
The highly innovative Kirker Shamrock Whiskey is Ireland’s first four-province blend, featuring six different whiskeys from four different distilleries in the four provinces of Ireland.
“The new brand uses three different styles of Irish whiskey in one blend, which is quite unusual,” says Richard. “There are single grain, single malt and single pot still whiskeys all playing their part and brought to life by ex-bourbon first fill casks and rich oloroso sherry casks. The inclusion of a very mild peaty profile celebrates an Irish tradition that has been largely overlooked in recent times, but is renowned for carrying and enhancing flavor complexity.
“The end result is a distinctive flavor profile thanks to the unique collaboration of liquid and a generous blend of 60% grain and 40% malt/pot still split.”
Shamrock Whiskey is an exciting addition to the growing portfolio of premium single malt and blended whiskeys currently being developed here by a number of local distilleries which are now helping to establish Northern Ireland as a world center for spirits.
The In Shamrock component whiskeys have been carefully selected from each province of Ireland over a period of one year by Richard. While the blend was created in Ulster, each province is represented by a distillery; The Great Northern Distillery in Leinster; The West Cork Distillery in Munster; Connacht’s Shed Distillery; and a still unnamed heritage distillery in Ulster.
Richard, a designer by profession, continues: “Kirker Shamrock is a sense of belonging, of being Irish in the broadest sense, and from a personal perspective, a celebration of a lifetime of working relationships within this wonderful whiskey industry I am very passionate about whiskey and have spent over a year traveling around the island of Ireland visiting distilleries and building relationships with producers around each province.
“During these visits, I had the privilege of tasting many of the best offerings in the country with a view to maintaining complementary and consistent liquids that, when mixed, respect the individual producer’s passion for quality. Our vision is to celebrate the whole island and for Kirker Shamrock to somehow represent the wider story of Irish whiskey itself,”
This vision has been successfully realized in the new whisky. The company, furthermore, has a successful track record in designing and developing brands, bars including New York, and distillery/visitor experiences for many of the world’s best-known hospitality companies for many years. .
Design hits include New York bars such as The Dead Rabbit, winner of Best Bars in the World, Black Tail, Best New Cocktail Bar in North America, and Hinch Distillery in Ballynahinch, the distillery Roe and Co in Dublin; Nuala in London; Ukiyo Spirits in Japan; and Italian Ginato Gin.
Additionally, the new whiskey comes in a bottle that showcases the history of this unique liquid, with illustrations of each province emblem and a bold black clover emblem.
Each label is layered with the texture of foil and embossing and the glass itself has been redesigned in a striking green, retaining the embossed branding and star emblem in the punt – a modern take on whiskey bottles of the past . The bottles also contain a QR code, which the consumer can scan to reveal the exact blend of each distillery contained in the liquid. Every year a new edition will be released with a difference in the nuances of the mixture, which will be described in this edition using the QR code.
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