The first whiskey to be produced in Derry in almost a century will be named ‘The Quiet Man’, the Journal has learned.
Millions of pounds worth of mature whiskey has already been invested in by Derry firm Niche Drinks, ahead of their plans to build a new whiskey distillery, bottling and maturation plant, along with a visitor centre, in Campsie.
The process engineers tasked with designing the new distillery plant are expected to have their plans finalised by the middle of December, with architects appointed by Christmas, and construction due to start by early summer 2015. Distillation will begin on site by the winter of 2016.
Ahead of this, the first whiskey to be bottled and blended in the city since the Watts Distillery closed in 1921, is now taking place at Niche’s Rossdowney Road plant.
Niche are to launch The Quiet Man blended whiskey and an eight-year-old single malt. Ciaran Mulgrew, managing director, said the company- which also makes St Brendan’s Cream Liqueur hope to have the first batches of whiskey on sale in 2015.
The new whiskey will be sold across the world, as well as locally. Mr Mulgrew said: “We are building a visitor centre at the new distillery, this will tell the story of whiskey production in Ireland and in Derry in particular and we hope this will put Derry on the Irish Whiskey Trail.
“It is important for us to get a local distributor for The Quiet Man, we would really appreciate it if local publicans and off licenses would support The Quiet Man brand as it is important when visitors come to the visitor centre to see how the whiskey is made and to sample The Quiet Man, that they can buy it in local outlets.”
Mr Mulgrew said they aim to be producing 300,000 cases a year, while the whiskey distillery will be phase one of a two-part £15m investment by Niche to transfer their entire operation to Campsie.
Mr Mulgrew revealed that the name for the Derry whiskey was inspired by his own father John, a barman for over 50 years who was known as ‘The Quiet Man’.