Augusto Reinas Illva Saronno bought a stake in Walsh Whiskey Distillery in 2013

Augusto Reina's Illva Saronno bought a stake in Walsh Whiskey Distillery in 2013

Illva Saronno is to use its stake in Ireland's Walsh Whiskey Distillery to launch the latter's The Irishman whiskey brand in its home market.

The Italian drinks firm, which acquired a 50% holding in Walsh Whiskey two years ago, will handle the sales and distribution of The Irishman in Italy when it launches this month. The brand's single malt and Founder's Reserve will both be available in the country.

The pair will be sold in selected on- and off-trade outlets.

Saronno CEO Augusto Reina said: "With this partnership, we will strengthen our role as an international player in the world of spirits; it is expected that the sales volume of Irish Whiskey will double worldwide, surpassing 12m cases."

The Irishman is distributed in around 30 markets.

To read a just-drinks interview with the founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery, Bernard Walsh, click here