Whisky Focus - Tullamore DEW Distillery Nears Completion

Tullamore DEW Distillery Nears Completion


29th August 2014
Whiskey production at Tullamore has moved a very significant step closer with the recent installation of the custom-made Tullamore Distillery Spirit Safe.

Fans of Irish Whiskey fans amongst you will be pleased to hear that the long-awaited return of whiskey production to Tullamore has moved a very significant step closer with the recent installation of the custom-made Tullamore Distillery Spirit Safe. The symbolic and functional heart of a distillery, the installation of the Spirit Safe is a major milestone in bringing Tullamore D.E.W. production back to its hometown. The first spirit will flow from the new €35m distillery in mid-September, exactly 60 years after the closure of the original distillery.

As part of the distillation process, the Master Distiller applies their skill and specialist knowledge through the spirit safe to identify the middle cut, or ‘heart’ of the spirit before filling it into casks for maturation. It allows the spirit to be fully analysed by the distiller without compromising the integrity of the distilling process. Only the finest ‘cut’ of the spirit is used, with the first and the last cut, referred to as the ‘top and tail’, retained and added to the next distillation.

Tullamore Distillery’s Spirit Safe which was made by the famous Forsyth Group from the town of Rothes in Moray, Scotland completed the 775 km journey to Tullamore under the care of two of Forsyth’s specialist engineers who expertly installed it at the heart of the still house. The 10 m³ glass and polished brass Spirit Safe is uniquely designed in a triangular shape, an appropriate reference to Tullamore D.E.W.’s complex triple-distilled, triple blend of all three types of Irish whiskey, while also paying tribute to the Grant family’s coat of arms which features its own trio of crowns.

The introduction of the Spirit Safe dates back to 1823 when duty laws were brought in to enforce taxation on distilleries. For this reason spirit safes feature a large elaborate padlock which casts back to a time when only an Exciseman, who enforced tax collection, could unlock the safe to access the spirit. Despite technological advances in distilleries the Spirit Safe stills plays an important role in modern whiskey making.

Commenting on the arrival of the Spirit Safe, Denise Devenny, Tullamore Distillery Process Leader said, "The installation of the Spirit Safe marks a momentous milestone in returning whiskey production to Tullamore. Installing the Spirit Safe, we saw the heart of the distillery being put in place right between the hand crafted pot and malt stills. The Spirit Safe is the most important element in the distillation process and is used to select the finest cut of spirits. There is no better sight than seeing pure spirit washing around the mouth of the collection bowl and disappearing to be matured in casks knowing that it will only re-appear many years later to be enjoyed by generations of whiskey connoisseurs."

The new Tullamore Distillery, built by William Grant & Sons, will open this September bringing Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey production back to the town after 60 years. The annual production of the new distillery will be 1.84Mla of triple distilled pot still and malt whiskeys - the equivalent of about 1.5m cases.
 

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