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IRELAND: Cooley re-opens Irish distillery

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Cooley Distillery has restarted production at its Old Kilbeggan Distillery almost 20 years after buying the Irish whiskey facility.

The Irish distiller said today (19 March) that it had been 53 years to the day since production stopped at the distillery. Cooley's Kilbeggan Irish whiskey brand is named after the 250-year-old distillery.

To mark the occasion a special bottling of Kilbeggan 15-year-old whiskey is being released in Ireland and will be rolled out into Cooley's export markets over the coming months.

Cooley chairman Dr John Teeling said that today's opening was "a rare and wonderful occasion". A single pot still is up and running at the site but Dr. Teeling said Cooley plans to bring three other pot stills into operation.

He added: "Irish whiskey is dominated by the two largest multi-national drinks companies in the world. Cooley, a small Irish-owned company, is the only alternative. Over the past 20 years we have had to be innovative to survive and prosper.

"The start up of only the fourth whiskey distillery in Ireland is vital for the further development of the Irish whiskey industry."

Dr. Teeling is eyeing company profits of EUR1.6m (US$2.1m) for 2006. Cooley expects sales to be up by around 10% to EUR11m and whiskey volumes to have risen from 180,000 cases to 210,000 cases. The company will release its final figures for 2006 in August.


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Cooley Distillery

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