Licensing World Issue 5 2019

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Issue 5 2019

Celebrating 30 years of business at the King’s Head in Galway

The Brand King John

Cassidy on life at Edward Dillon & Co

Get your alcohol-free buzz on

Get the party started Our round-up of the most festive tipples this Christmas


Vaughan Yates on the Virgin Mary’s first six months



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ALL SERVED IN ONE PLACE Sky is now the only place to get Sky Sports, BT Sport and Premier Sports in Ireland, making it easier for you to manage your TV package and focus on running your business.

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Upcoming highlights include:










Sat 7 Dec, 5.30pm

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Sat 21 Dec, 5.30pm

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Or visit Sky Sports and BT Sport & Premier Sport are available as one combined package or separately. Channels and content availability are dependent on the subscription agreement. Sports Extra Pack (BT Sport & Premier Sports) must be purchased with Sky Ultimate or Sky Ultimate Plus and a minimum term of 12 months applies. Premier Sports is a trademark of Premier Media Broadcasting Limited trading as Premier Sports. All rights reserved.

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Contents WINTER 2019




TACKLING RURAL ISOLATION The VFI is making a video about social spin, a pilot programme in two Kerry locations designed to help rural publicans help their communities by providing a voluntary taxi service


THE ART OF IRISH COFFEE We might be renowned for Irish coffee around the world, but is it the most underutilised cocktail in Ireland? Hi-Spirits thinks it just might be


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John Cassidy talks to Licensing World about life as Commercial Director at Edward Dillon & Co


AN IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Some said it couldn’t be done but it looks like Ireland’s first alcohol-free pub is proving the naysayers wrong. We caught up with Vaughan Yates to see how business is going at The Virgin Mary


SO HERE IT IS, MERRY CHRISTMAS… Get the party started this festive season with our pick of the best Christmas drinks on the market


SPOTLIGHT ON… SPIRITS MARKET Although spirits exports from Ireland are up and demand for whiskey and gin continue to drive home sales, there may be trouble ahead for the spirits industry





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The Grealish family, owners of the 800-year-old pub the King's Head in Galway city, are celebrating 30 years in business this year


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Editor's Letter

Welcome... ‘Tis the season to be jolly but it’s also the season to crack open a bottle of champagne or pour yourself a much deserved Bailey’s as another year comes to an end. Alcohol is as synonymous with Christmas as Santa or the annual 12 pubs of Christmas madness but change is afoot on the Irish pub scene. Ireland’s first alcoholfree bar, The Virgin Mary, opened on Capel Street this year. Business is good at the pub which won the award for ‘Most Innovative’ at this year’s Bar of the Year Awards. Is Ireland a bit too Irish for a pub that doesn’t serve alcohol? With visitor numbers up at The Virgin Mary, it appears not. I sat down with the bar’s owner, Vaughan Yates, for a chat about his ‘social experiment’ and why Ireland is ready for a different kind of bar offering. Turn to page 19 for more. Also in this issue, I met up with John Cassidy, Commercial Director at Edward Dillon & Co. He talked about the company’s activations, the trend for low or no alcohol drinks and the many changes he has seen across the industry in his 14 years at Edward Dillon. Turn to page 22 for the full interview. Finally, for those of you who enjoy an alcoholic beverage during the festive season, turn to page 25 for our pick of the best Christmas drinks on the market. From all of us here at Licensing World, have a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year. Here’s to 2020!


WORLD Editor: Denise Maguire Creative Director: Jane Matthews Art Director: Áine Duffy Designer: James Moore Production: Claire Kiernan Stock Photography: Sales Director: Trish Murphy Managing Director: Gerry Tynan Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon Published by: Ashville Media, Unit 55, Park West Road, Park West Dublin 12 Tel: (01) 432 2200 ISSN: 1393-0826 All rights reserved. Every care has been taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is accurate. The publishers cannot, however, accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Reproduction by any means in whole or in part without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. © Ashville Media Group 2018. All discounts, promotions and competitions contained in this magazine are run independently of Licensing World. The promoter/advertiser is responsible for honouring the prize. ISSN 1393-0826

Denise Maguire Editor VISIT US ONLINE

The Licensing World editorial team email:

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @BarOfTheYear #SkyBarAwards18 FIND US ON FACEBOOK For information on the Bar of the Year Awards and the Hotel & Catering Review Awards please visit our dedicated Facebook pages /BarOfTheYearAwards /TheHotelCateringReview


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NEWS round-up

The main events this Winter... DISARONNO WEARS DIESEL Disaronno hosted a weekendlong event at Kildare Village recently, where shoppers were invited to view an installation celebrating the partnership and try the “Disaronno wears Diesel” cocktail at the Diesel store. “Disaronno wears Diesel” is a limited edition bottle run, with a bold, ironic style that shows Disaronno’s logo wrapped in a camouflage denim pattern (denim is Diesel’s signature textile).

Disaronno wears Diesel cocktail INGREDIENTS 50 ml Disaronno 20 ml Jamaica Rum overproof 30 ml lime juice 20 ml passion fruit syrup 8 mint leaves Crushed ice GARNISH Mint sprig and raspberry



Ireland is set to impose a so-called latte levy on disposable coffee cups by 2021 in an effort to change consumer habits and cut the environmental impact from the use of single-use plastics. Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton hopes that the proposed levy of up to 25 cent per cup will encourage coffee drinkers to instead carry around reusable "keep cups" that already allow customers to claim a discount in some coffee shops. The charge is among a number of new and increased levies to encourage more sustainable behaviour, including applying an increased 25 cent plastic bag levy to the more expensive medium weight plastic bags sold at supermarket tills. Up to 200 million single use coffee cups are thrown away every year by Ireland's 4.9 million population, a government-funded report found last year. Compostable cups that are made from biodegradable materials will also be hit by the levy, Bruton said, due to a lack of infrastructure in the retail sector to recycle packaging which has been in contact with food and drink.

One of the first gastropubs to open in Dublin, The Exchequer is celebrating 10 years in business. “The Exchequer has become exactly the Gastropub we wanted to create,” said Peter Rock. “We’re open from midday to late and although just steps from the busiest streets in Dublin, it’s an oasis of the very best food and drink, in charming surroundings. We’re very proud that we are still welcoming a loyal clientele that first visited us 10 years ago and new customers every day too!”


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FIVE LAMPS OPENS BREWERY ON DUBLIN’S CAMDEN STREET Five Lamps has officially opened the Five Lamps Dublin Brewery and Visitor Centre, housed upstairs in Camden Street’s ‘The Camden’ (formerly ‘The Palace’). The former iconic cinema played host to the Theatre De Luxe in the early 20th century and also featured in scenes from "The Commitments". While respecting its original features and illustrious past, the building has undergone a radical modernisation and transformation which includes a first floor dedicated to the Five Lamps Dublin Brewery. Visitors to the new Five Lamps Dublin Brewery will have the opportunity to watch the Master Brewer and see first-hand the skill that goes into the brewing process. Guided by local experts and characters and lasting 45 minutes, visitors will experience a vision of Dublin through the eyes of true blue Dubliners, finishing up with a beer tasting of the full Five Lamps range.

THE IRISHMAN IS IRISH WHISKEY OF THE YEAR The Irishman 17-Year-Old Single Malt, produced by Walsh Whiskey, was awarded the highest accolade at this year’s Irish Whiskey Awards. Crowned overall Irish Whiskey of the Year at the annual event, the accolade tops off what has been a fantastic year for The Irishman. It was also named Best Irish Single Cask Whiskey at the Irish Whiskey Awards on top of taking home a Masters medal at the Irish Whiskey Masters earlier this year and being crowned Irish Single Cask of the Year by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2019. The Irishman 17-Year-Old Single Malt is an extremely limited release, with just three casks of 600 bottles per cask produced each year. Originally released in 2016 to mark Walsh Whiskey’s 17th year in business, the expression has become a must-have in any whiskey enthusiast’s collection.

Bernard Walsh accepting award for The Irishman


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EFFECTIVE PRE-BUDGET CAMPAIGN HELPS AVOID EXCISE INCREASE The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has said the effective ‘Support Your Local’ campaign, combined with strong pre-Budget engagement from the LVA, has helped avoid an increase in excise duty despite the obvious need for extra Exchequer revenue. The LVA also welcomed the €40 million commitment to tourism funding but called for that funding to be targeted at boosting actual tourism businesses. Speaking following the Budget 2020 announcement, LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe, said: “As we have seen in recent years, there would seem to be a view in Government that alcohol rates are inelastic and can sustain over the top taxation. When you also consider there was a clear focus on increasing Exchequer revenue, as illustrated in the €140m+ increase in stamp duty, avoiding any change in excise taxes on alcohol is an effective result. “That was due to the strong ‘Support Your Local’ campaign implemented this

year, an effort that the LVA was able to support as a central member of the campaign group and through our own direct pre-Budget engagements. The membership really rallied behind this year’s campaign and that involvement played a key role in helping us to gain momentum and in capturing the attention of the Government. “It is now well established that Ireland has among the highest rates of excise duty on alcohol throughout Europe. Unfortunately that imbalance will not be addressed in this budget, leaving the price of alcohol at an inflated rate when compared with our European counterparts and competitors. “The year ahead will see further challenges for the industry, not least the impact of any potential Brexit developments and the implications they could have on tourism and the supply chain for imports and exports. The industry will have to work together over the

course of the coming year to make the Government understand why we should not be the outliers of Europe on excise. We need to make them understand that consumer behaviour and tourism are bearing the brunt of this taxation and that is being felt throughout the hospitality sector in this country. “That battle has to begin immediately and that is certainly the approach the LVA will be adopting as we seek to move political minds, a job that begins from today and will continue throughout the coming year. “The special €40 million commitment to the tourism sector is welcome, but we need to be sure that will go towards actual tourism businesses. Apparently, the funding will include a specific promotion towards the British market. Given the central role that pubs play in our tourism offer, we hope that role will be reflected in any promotional activity,” O’Keeffe concluded.


Emerging and established Irish Whiskey producers and bars were honoured at the 2019 Irish Whiskey Awards which took place recently at the Dingle Distillery in Co Kerry. The evening commenced with a tour of the distillery and drinks reception hosted by the Dingle Distillery co-founders and team. Keynote speaker, Colum Egan, Master Distiller for Bushmills Distillery presented the awards, which are now in their seventh year and span over 20 categories. Judging of the awards took place in July and August with members of the Celtic Whiskey Club, Irish Whiskey Society, Irish Whiskey Society Dingle Chapter, Kilkenny Whiskey Guild & Cork Whiskey Society as well as two new participating societies - Waterford Whiskey Society and Belfast Whiskey Club. It proved to be a great year for the whiskey brands from the ABC IDL portfolio, IDL/Pernod Ricard's premium division. Best Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey went to Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy, Best Irish Cask Strength Whiskey went to Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength and Best Irish Single Grain Whiskey went to Method & Madness Single Grain Virgin Spanish Oak Finish.


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BUSHMILLS BLACK BUSH TEAMS UP WITH CHEESE MAKER Bushmills Irish Whiskey collaborated with cheese affineur and founder of The Cheese Tasting Company, Ned Palmer, to host a series of whiskey and cheese pairing masterclasses across Ireland in November and December. The events brought the 2019 #BlackBushStories campaign to a close, following a busy calendar of immersive consumer experiences throughout the country. Ned showcased his favourite Irish cheeses as he joined Bushmills Brand Ambassador, Lauren McMullan, to introduce guests to the arts of both whiskey and cheese tasting.


Cask, winners of the Cocktail Bar of the Year Award at this year’s Bar Awards, set sail for Venice recently on a Winner’s Trip, sponsored by Luxardo. Pictured at the Luxardo Distillery in Torreglia, Italy are Colm O’Neill, Classic Drinks, Nicolo Luxardo, Luxardo and Kieran O’Driscoll.


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TOP DISTILLING STUDENT WINS €1K WHISKEY BURSARY Gary Ring, a student on Ireland’s first honours degree course in brewing and distilling at IT Carlow, has been awarded the Walsh Whiskey €1,000 bursary prize for achieving the highest grades in first year. A mature student from Douglas, Co Cork, Gary worked for many years as a wine buyer for Musgrave’s SuperValu and Centra franchises and most recently, the Barry Group that owns the CarryOut and Costcutter brands. Since 2017, Walsh Whiskey has been awarding the €1,000 bursary prize to the brewing and distilling student who achieved the highest grades at the end of first year. Bernard Walsh, founder and managing director of Walsh Whiskey, says the bursary recognises IT Carlow as a centre for teaching, learning, research and innovation in brewing and distilling. “We are delighted to recognise Gary’s exceptional achievement through this bursary. Walsh Whiskey aligns very well to the brewing and distilling degree at Institute of Technology Carlow in that we both aim to make world-class contributions to the re-emerging and growing sector that is Irish Whiskey. Our Writers’ Tears and The Irishman whiskeys are on the market over 13 years now and they will need world-class distillers of the future, like Gary, to ensure they remain the super-premium whiskeys that they are,” said Bernard.

Dr David Ryan, programme director of the BSc in brewing and distilling at IT Carlow, Walsh Whiskey managing director Bernard Walsh, bursary recipient Gary Ring and Dr Paula Rankin, head of the Dept of Science and Health at IT Carlow

Carlsberg has launched Carlsberg 0.0, a Danish Pilsner with zero alcohol, zero sugar and 46 calories per bottle. According to Carlsberg, the alcohol-free category has doubled in size in the past 12 months, driven by consumers' desire to lead a balanced lifestyle. Although the category is growing, it still has limited choice and Carlsberg is confident its new 0.0% pilsner will offer consumers a refreshing, great tasting option that’s also low in calories. Speaking about the new offering, Carlsberg Brand Manager, Hannah Todd, said: “The Irish and the Danes share similar values and with an upward trend in Ireland of consumers seeking more balanced drinking choices, we’re confident that this new beer will go down incredibly well.” The brewing process starts with premium barley malt, hops and water – ingredients used for all Carlsberg beers. Yeast is added to start the fermentation and after brewing, the alcohol is gently removed. The beer is filtered which helps it develop a taste like original Carlsberg beer.

BREWDOG OPENS FIRST IRISH BAR Independent Scottish craft brewer BrewDog has opened a new brewpub in Capital Dock, complete with two bars, an on-site microbrewery, Olympicsized shuffleboards, huge outside terrace and heated roof garden. BrewDog Outpost Dublin is the group’s 100th site with locations spanning the globe as far afield as Brisbane, Tokyo, Cincinnati and Berlin. The new Dublin venue will feature a 5HL brew kit and will treat locals to exclusive beers brewed on site. Craft beer aficionados will also be able to get their hands on a range of cutting-edge releases from the surging craft beer scene in Ireland, as well as the UK and from around the world.


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Repak’s 3,000 Members have helped fund packaging recycling in Ireland for over twenty years. Join our network of almost 400 Hotel Members and make 2019 the year you go green.

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Oriental botanicals, Gunpowder tea & Irish curiosity.

“ can absolutely see why.”

Best Gin Oscar 2019 “The Best Spirits Known to Mankind”

Jugoslav Petkovic Flaviar Co-Founder


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According to a new survey by Musgrave MarketPlace, Christmas parties helps with staff bonding and boost morale at work. The survey, which examined Ireland’s Christmas party habits, revealed that wine is the most popular drink at the annual party with over a third (39%) opting for a glass of wine to get them into the festive spirit. About 16% said champagne or prosecco was their Christmas drink of choice followed by beer (13%) and cocktails (11%). A quarter of the 254 restaurant and bar owners polled said they plan their menu two months in advance, with half putting on a bespoke menu for the party season rather than an a la carte offering. While traditional Christmas party food features heavily, 72% say they are adapting their menu this year to cater for new food trends.

SADLER’S PEAKY BLINDER IS NEW IRISH FA PARTNER Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Lager has signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with the Irish Football Association (Irish FA) to become the new official beer of the Northern Ireland senior men’s and women’s football teams. Fans attending games at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park will have the opportunity to taste Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Lager when it goes on sale in the Billy Bingham Lounge.

Using over 40 varieties of apples and pears, Avallen Calvados is the latest spirit to hit the Irish market. The new drink is distributed by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits and aims to shake up the global spirits market. The bottle has been selected for its bartender friendliness and as it’s one of the lightest on the market, it ensures a reduced carbon footprint from shipping. Founders Stephanie Jordan and Tim Etherington-Judge wanted to create the most sustainable spirit brand possible whilst re-igniting Calvados, one of the world’s great brandies. Their #BeePositive message sees 50 cent from every bottle sold donated to protecting and restoring the bee population and a commitment to plant 10,000 wild flowers by 2022 to help our forever declining bee population.

NEW NI SPIRIT BRAND SIGNS DEAL WITH BARRY AND FITZWILLIAM Hinch, a new Northern Ireland whiskey and gin company, has signed a deal with drinks distributor Barry and Fitzwilliam to distribute its Ninth Wave and Hinch brands. Hinch Distillery, owned by Dr Terry Cross, is located between Belfast and Co Down town Ballynahinch and produces a premium whiskey collection, all originally sourced from some of the most reputable whiskey producers in Ireland. The company launched a £15 million distillery and visitor experience in Belfast recently and says the deal with Barry and Fitzwilliam will help raise the profile and presence of its brands across the country.


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ith a rich heritage dating back to 1779, Paddy owes its name to the legendary distillery salesman, Paddy Flaherty. Famed throughout his native county Cork for buying rounds of his favourite tipple, he became so synonymous with the whiskey he sold, that in 1913 the distillery owners paid him the ultimate tribute by renaming the whiskey ‘Paddy’ in his honour. Made from a unique blend of pot still, malt and grain whiskeys, PADDY is a soft and light whiskey. Enjoy it neat, on the rocks or mixed.

For more details on upcoming events see: @PaddyIrishWhiskeyIreland



35.5ml Paddy Irish Whiskey 1 teaspoon of sugar 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee Top with lightly whipped cream Garnish with grated nutmeg and dark chocolate

Enjoy Paddy responsibly © 2018 Paddy. All rights reserved. Paddy is a registered trademark . Available exclusively from Hi-Spirits .

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Tackling Rural Isolation According to the VFI, the changes introduced by the Road Traffic Act 2018 have had a devastating effect on rural areas, with many people now afraid to visit the pub. The ‘morning after’ checkpoints have compounded the problem. Faced with such a drastic scenario, publicans have been asking themselves what can be done to halt the decline of the rural pub. One possible solution is to be found in Kerry, where publicans in two villages are running transport schemes aimed at getting people to and from the pub. Called ‘Social Spin’, the programme is being run on a pilot basis for 12 months and is supported by both the VFI and Diageo. Sean O’Mahony runs the Killarney Country Club in Faha, about 10km from Killarney town. Sean says the pub was in a “do or die” situation after the drink driving laws were changed. “We called a meeting of local people where it was decided that something had to be done. The pub is at the heart of our local community and we were determined to protect it.” Social Spin was born and although it only launched in June, Sean says the results so far are extremely encouraging. He explains how Social Spin works. “We have 30 volunteer drivers so it really is a community effort. The car is available from 6.30pm to 11.30pm every

night. Customers call the Social Spin dedicated mobile number to arrange collection. It’s as simple as that. It’s a volunteer service so there is no charge, passengers can make a donation to a maximum of €5 per trip, which goes towards diesel and maintaining the car. Running costs are approximately €200 per week.” Sean also mentions solving the insurance issue as a key factor in allowing the service to launch. “I’d like to thank FBD for taking us on board, who worked closely with us while we established Social Spin. In the end, we secured open insurance for just over €4k.” The Faha service is now transporting over 80 people to and from Killarney Country Club per week. “We’re a small rural community so this is a lifeline. It needs to be rolled out nationwide,” says Sean. “The government needs to support schemes such as this across the country.” That’s a sentiment echoed by VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben. Speaking in Faha, he said pubs are facing many challenges but the new drink driving laws have impacted rural communities to such a degree that they prevent people from socialising. “Social Spin is a community driven scheme that facilitates communities to come together,” he says. “The pub is the hub and the publican is at the centre

of many rural communities. We see that the local community welcomes Social Spin, which allows people to get out of their homes and avoid rural isolation.” The aim is to use data from the two pilot schemes in Kerry to create a blueprint for a nationwide service that can be presented to government. “The message to government is, rural communities are crying out for solutions,” says Padraig Cribben. “There’s been no support so far from government except loose talk.” Further north in the village of Causeway, five publicans have come together to run the Social Spin programme in the area. Richard Keane, one of the publicans behind Social Spin, says that since operations began in June they have secured 42 volunteer drivers, a sure sign of the support for Social Spin in the area. “The reaction has been super,” he says. “Social Spin has lifted everything in the village. We see the service becoming more popular every week. At present we’re averaging about €280 per week in donations, which is enough to keep the service operating. Rural Ireland is coming up with solutions but we need support from government. We’re seeing faces in the pub we haven’t seen for years. People are depending on the service now – and politicians need to understand that.”


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Cover Story




hat makes Irish Coffee so special and why is it still so popular today? A moment of pure indulgence at the end of a meal, something to share with a neighbour by an open fire or just a great way to celebrate winning a spot in the much-coveted snug. The rise of modern cocktail culture has seen a number of iterations on how to make an Irish Coffee, but the foundations are always rooted in the right balance of coffee, sugar, Irish Whiskey and finished with a layer of lightly whipped fresh cream. A lot of bartenders say the secret to its success is all in the preparation – having the coffee batched with sugar and using a protein shaker to mix the cream can make the process a lot simpler. With all the steps that goes into making an Irish Coffee, the crowning moment always comes down to the fine art of setting the cream afloat on the back of a spoon which

inevitably leaves onlookers ordering one too. There are many claims to the origins of the Irish Coffee but despite being a country that never lets the truth get in the way of a good story, there always seems to be one version that rises to the top. That is the tale of one fateful night in 1943 when a Pan Am transatlantic flight scheduled for New York was grounded at the Flying Boat terminal in Foynes, just 35 miles from Shannon Airport. After several hours of turbulence, the captain made the decision to land the plane. The shaken passengers were in for a turn of luck as O’Regan’s restaurant was still open and head chef Joe Sheridan was there to greet them with something warm to “calm the nerves”, a serving of coffee with Irish Whiskey and a generous helping of Irish cream on top. The delighted passengers asked Joe if he had used Brazilian coffee to which he simply replied “No, it was Irish coffee.” Fame came a few years later for the much-loved


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Cover Story

"WHEN THE FLAVOURS ARE WELL BALANCED, IT WILL MAKE PEOPLE BECOME NOT JUST IRISH COFFEE CONVERTS BUT TRUE IRISH WHISKEY FANS” Irish Coffee when it was sampled by Stanton Delaplane, a Pulitzer Prize-winning travel writer. Delaplane brought reports of the Irish Coffee back to his friend Jack Koeppler at the Buena Vista in San Francisco. They Aran Cluskey, Temple Bar Distillery Store, Dublin worked to recreate the Irish Coffee but could never get it quite right. In the pursuit of serving the perfect Irish Coffee, Koeppler made the decision to invite Sheridan to join his team at The Buena Vista in 1952 where he continued to work for the next 10 years. The beauty of this partnership now sees the Buena Vista with sales of Irish Coffee in excess of 250,000 serves a year. There are a lot of great places around the globe where you can enjoy house serves of Irish Coffee, one of the most famous being the Dead Rabbit in New York where their preferred bean of choice is a Sumatra coffee and they use demerara sugar syrup as a sweetener. London also is the home of another Dead Rabbit inspired Irish Coffee; Swift in Soho was named Britain’s best bar in the GQ Food and Drink Awards in 2018 and a visit there would never be complete without sampling one of their finest! However if you are looking to have the real authentic “TOURISTS LOVE THE THEATRE OF experience, then Dublin City WATCHING AN IRISH COFFEE BEING MADE. is a great place to start. Temple Bar has a reported IT’S A GREAT INTRODUCTION TO IRISH footfall of 59,000 people a WHISKEY AND IT NEVER FAILS TO WIN day, made up of Irish and THEM OVER” tourists alike. Aran Cluskey The Palace Bar from the Temple Bar Distillery Store is one of the bartenders that has taken to championing the Irish Coffee. “Tourists love the theatre of watching an Irish Coffee being made. It’s a great introduction to Irish Whiskey and it never fails to win them over.” Another one of Dublin’s finest Irish Coffee houses is just a short stroll away in The Palace Bar on Fleet St. The Palace recently played host to a masterclass in Irish Coffee as part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative with Michael Cowman from Paddy Irish Whiskey. “The Palace Bar is one of the most iconic whiskey bars in Ireland and it was great to take part in the new Fáilte Ireland initiative. The importance of the Irish Coffee cannot be understated. It is a stepping stone into the Irish Whiskey category that appeals to a wider audience. When the flavours are well balanced, it will make people become not just Irish Coffee converts, but true Irish Whiskey fans.”


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Commercial Profile

Holidays are coming for designated drivers! James Kavanagh has joined industry representatives for the launch of Coca-Cola’s designated driver campaign


V presenter and Coca-Cola ambassador James Kavanagh joined representatives from the Vintners Associations, Hotels Federation and Restaurants Association of Ireland at the Schoolhouse Hotel, Dublin 4, to launch the 15th annual Coca-Cola Designated Driver campaign. Coca-Cola is encouraging people across the island of Ireland to take on the role of ‘designated driver’, staying sober on nights out to ensure loved ones and friends get home safely. Holidays are coming early for these unsung heroes, with two free soft drinks from the Coca-Cola HBC range available to designated drivers throughout the month of December. This year, Coca-Cola, a brand so synonymous with Christmas, will also reward designated drivers by providing three allocated parking spots at the Stephen’s Green Q-Park in Dublin and Victoria Square in Belfast. Available each weekend in December, designated drivers simply need to present themselves to security hubs at the Q-Park stations to benefit from parking free-of-charge when on a night out. To spread the important message of road safety, influential personality James Kavanagh will also take on the role of designated driver throughout the season. Lucky party-goers were also in with a chance of a lift and a night out with James by commenting on his Coca-Cola post using #HolidaysareComing. Miles Karemacher, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland’s General Manager, said: “At Coca-Cola HBC,

we are passionate about playing a value-adding role in communities across the island. For 15 years, we have taken immense pride in supporting and celebrating designated drivers throughout the Christmas season and this year will be no different. “We want to ensure that designated drivers are rewarded for their selflessness by staying sober to ensure their friends and family can get home safely and will offer two free soft drinks to these drivers at participating venues. We’re also proud to partner with Q-Park to further reward designated drivers with free parking in Dublin and Belfast throughout December.” In the Republic of Ireland, the Designated Driver campaign is supported by An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority and Drinkaware. It is also backed by the Licensed Vintners Association, the Vintners Federation of Ireland, the Restaurants Association of

Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation. In Northern Ireland, the campaign is supported by the PSNI, Hospitality Ulster and the NI Hotel Federation.

Designated drivers If you are a designated driver, avail of the two free soft drinks from the Coca-Cola HBC range by simply making yourself known to bar staff at participating venues. Drinks from the range include CocaCola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Deep RiverRock, Fruice and Appletiser. For a full list of venues, visit Follow #HolidaysAreComing on social to be a part of the conversation


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An Immaculate Conception SOME SAID IT COULDN’T BE DONE BUT IT LOOKS LIKE IRELAND’S FIRST ALCOHOLFREE PUB IS PROVING THE NAYSAYERS WRONG. AFTER WINNING THE TITLE OF ‘MOST INNOVATIVE BAR’ AT THE 2019 BAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS, LICENSING WORLD CAUGHT UP WITH VAUGHAN YATES TO SEE HOW BUSINESS IS GOING AT THE VIRGIN MARY YOU'RE OPEN SIX MONTHS NOW. HOW IS IT ALL GOING? Business is good. It’s definitely been something of a social experiment but we’re doing well. In the first few weeks of opening, we had a lot of people coming in for a nose and to see what all the fuss was about. It has levelled out since then but the interest is still there. It’ll be interesting to see what happens at Christmas; we’re not really the go-to place for a party but we’re finding that numbers are picking up in the run-up to Christmas.

WHO IS DRINKING IN THE VIRGIN MARY? A lot of people coming in would make our bar part of their journey for the night. Having an alcohol free drink here extends their evening. People who are into mindful drinking also like to come here and have a cocktail. They get the buzz of being in a bar minus


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HOW DO YOUR COSTS COMPARE TO A TRADITIONAL PUB? Insurance costs are probably about a tenth of a pub that sells alcohol. When we spoke to the insurance company and told them we would be alcohol free and that there would be no drunk people, they priced it like a coffee shop. Customers bring their glasses back up to the bar and I’d say we have the cleanest toilets in the industry. We also don’t need a license so that has brought costs down considerably. It’s a lovely environment to sit in and enjoy a drink and it’s also a great place to work. We have no problems getting staff, people want to work here.

WHAT’S YOUR OWN BACKGROUND? I’m a designer. I’ve worked in the drinks industry for several years, helping brands with their strategies. I also build distillery environments. I’ve worked with the major brands on the market but it was actually working with alcohol brands that made me want to work in a non-alcohol bar. the hangover. The majority of people probably don’t stay for longer than two or three drinks and if they do stay longer than an hour, then they’re here with a group. You do get unusual nights though. For example, last Wednesday night the bar was packed. It was far busier than any Friday night and it was full of men. Our demographic is usually women. Apart from knowing that your numbers on a Friday and Saturday night will be better than the rest of the week, you can’t read this bar at all.

WHY SO? My wife, who has worked with brands like Hendricks and Jameson, has always said that if she didn’t work in the drinks industry, she’d like to work in the health industry. We talked about that for a while and in May 2018, I started to go to workshops held by alcohol brands who were talking about this no and low category. I was aware that non-alcohol spirits were starting to appear on the market and I wondered if there were enough products out there to open a non-alcohol bar. I was given the opportunity to lease this place on Capel Street, I thought it was an interesting space. The idea was to try and do something different and offer the customer an alternative.

WHY ARE WOMEN MORE INCLINED TO VISIT THE BAR? I think women are much more adventurous when it comes to food and drink. They’re more interested in new things and more aware of what they put into their body, whereas men tend to care a bit less. Single women will come in here and read. No one hassles them, they’ll sit down and have two or three cocktails. That wasn’t a conscious intention of mine, I haven’t designed the bar in a particularly feminine way. The design is actually based on a Dutch apothecary but it’s a comfortable space with great cocktails and women in particular want to be in it.

WAS IT DIFFICULT TO FIND THE RIGHT PRODUCTS? If the bar had opened when it was supposed to, in January 2018, I think it would have been that bit harder. We opened in May this year and now we get sent about four new products a week to trial. In the short time since we opened, we’ve managed to build a reputation for ourselves so people want to get their products into 20

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ARE YOU SEEING MANY TOURISTS COMING IN? Absolutely, we’re definitely a destination bar for tourists. They come here from all over the world. There’s a fascination there and it’s because we’re in Ireland. If we were in Paris or Amsterdam, people wouldn’t care but because we’re in Ireland we get people saying, how are you crazy guys opening this non-alcohol bar in one of the drinking capitals of the world? I read an article earlier saying that we currently have 5.3 million online hits globally. The Savoy Bar in London, which has been around for 129 years, has four million.

The Virgin Mary. We reject about 90% of the products we get sent, there’s a lot of rubbish out there. We’ve probably tasted about 120 wines and we only stock three. We also develop our own products, like Stop Whining, our constructed rather than deconstructed wine. In September, we launched our new drinks menu which contains lots of new cocktails, all created by Bar Manager Anna Walsh. Our aim is to have a dairy and plastic free bar. All our cocktails are vegan and apart from our cleaning products, which we’re working to replace, everything is plastic free.

DID YOU EVER WORRY THAT IRELAND IS A BIT TOO IRISH FOR AN ALCOHOL-FREE PUB? Yes! But it’s working. Research had suggested that millennials would come in and they do but not necessarily more than any other demographic. If we had a bigger venue that sold food, I know we’d be more profitable. Our next venue will definitely have food.



Capel Street is edgy, it’s a bit like Soho in London. One minute I can be in a high class tailor and the next I can cross the road and go into a sex shop, or a great sushi restaurant or a hardware shop. In saying that, I think we’d be busier if we were on the southside. A lot of people just don’t cross the bridge. People have everything they need on the southside, apart from us!

It will be a little further east, like thousands of miles! I got confirmation on a venue today so I’m really looking forward to opening the next Virgin Mary. My ambition is to try and get this concept moving globally. I want to have these bars in every drinking capital of the world. 21

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In Person


How long have you worked at Edward Dillon? I’m here almost 14 years. I started off as a Key Account Manager before moving into more senior roles including National Sales Manager and my current role, Commercial Director. As Commercial Director, I’m responsible for the sales function of the organisation. I also sit on the company leadership team and senior management teams. I am still fairly hands on and I enjoy looking after some of our key on and off trade customers myself.

So this must be a busy time for you About 40% of the alcohol sold in Ireland is sold around this time of the year. In the on-trade side of our business, we’re very busy

making sure pubs and restaurants have the right business solutions when it comes to having our products served in their outlets coming up to Christmas. We look at providing drinks menus, glassware, perfect serves or training programmes to get bartenders ready for the busy season. Our core brands of Hennessy, Bacardi, Jack Daniels, Bombay Sapphire, Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot Champagne come into their own at this time of the year as people reward themselves at Christmas. In the wholesale side of the business, we work with our partners to provide any help we can in assisting them in the run up to the busy period. Off trade peaks at this time of the year so we have additional seasonal teams working with us to make sure our brands are presented as well as they can be to the consumer.


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In Person

Was it a tough decision considering you had already started the MBA? No, it was too good an opportunity not to take. The idea of working with a company that had been, at that stage, established for 140 years and has such well known high-end brands was too tempting. It was an opportunity I had to take however it was definitely a busy time; I carried on doing my MBA at night, got married in the middle of it and I moved house three or four times!

How progressive is Edward Dillon? We’re an extremely progressive company. We’re always trying to push the boundaries of engagement with consumers. In 2019, we developed the Hennessy Sound Lounge at Body & Soul. We also did Casa Bacardi for the sixteenth year at Electric Picnic, along with a full Bombay Sapphire immersion experience which was all about creating your own drink. Just recently, we held ‘Jack Daniel’s Presents’ in Lost Lane in Dublin. That was a great event and saw the brand getting back to its music roots. One of our newer brands, Slane Irish Whiskey, had a great activation at the Metallica concert last summer at Slane Castle. Our innovations are all about engagement with the people involved in our brands and with the people that consume our brands.

Are you responding to the growing trend for low or no alcohol drinks? We’ve looked at several lower alcohol serves. Certainly, the low and no category is growing. Some of our brands have always participated in the low category and long before it became a trend! For example, Martini with a mixer sits comfortably into that category. In fact, we recently introduced Martini Fiero as an extension to the established range. A very simple serve is mixing it with tonic and garnishing with a slice of orange. Over the past few years, we’ve found that people are much more conscious of what they are consuming and they are not going out as often as they would have in the past. This has resulted in us seeing a change in how people consume products and also how they like to investigate more premium expressions of their preferred brands.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen over the past 14 years? Back in the early 2000s, when I was at the beginning of my career, the drinks industry was very different. About 70% of the product sold was on trade consumption while 30% was off trade. Those figures have effectively reversed completely now so that’s been a huge change. We’ve also seen a transformation in how alcohol is sold and retailed. The consumer has changed as well. Recently, someone reminded me that people used to eat at home and go out for a drink, but now it’s the other way around which has created a completely different on trade dynamic. Pubs that have adapted and have a strong food and drink offering are doing well. The next level of engagement is all about how you retain that customer for the half an hour or hour after they’ve eaten. That’s a real challenge for the industry.

How did you get into the trade? My career started in the food industry, on the manufacturing side of the house. After a few years of doing that I asked myself, where’s all this product that I’m making actually going and how does it get out there? An opportunity came up for me to move into the sales world and at that stage, having completed a post graduate diploma in management practice, I joined Coca-Cola as a sales rep and progressed through a number of different sales and management roles including some key account management. I then moved into the beer industry for a short while before deciding to return to my studies and complete an MBA. After taking a bit of time out to start that, an opportunity at Edward Dillon presented itself.

What do you like about your job? We have a world class portfolio of brands here including Hennessy, Bacardi, Jack Daniels, Bombay Sapphire, Moet et Chandon etc. They’re very sought after brands so that makes for a vibrant, exciting place to work. This is a cut and thrust industry. We have to think on our feet and be adaptive. I’d say in my 14 years working here, we’ve reinvented ourselves in several different ways to adapt to the different market conditions out there. The market is changing so rapidly. It’s an exciting industry to work in.


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Commercial Profile

Making Fire Checks EZ Want to save time and money when it comes to fire checks, while ensuring you remain compliant? The ‘my EZ fire check’ app could be for you


ire safety. It’s something that should be at the top of every operations or general manager’s mind but for most, their legal obligations may provide more headaches than reassurances. Despite a slew of fire-related incidents making the headlines recently, fire safety is something that often comes well down the list of many managers’ priorities. “We’ve met with managers who roll their eyes whenever the topic is broached. They don’t realise that fire checks are actually a task which can be completed without expending much effort and time,” says Stephen Norman, one of the team at My Ez Fire Check, a new app designed to make fire safety procedures as easy as possible while keeping companies compliant with fire safety regulations. “There’s a certain fear around fire checks and we understand that, particularly when you factor in the amount of paperwork required to keep the traditional fire register in order. Add in the time and manpower needed to carry them out and follow up on any issues and the checks can often be considered a drain on a company’s resources.” “Media reports and our own research show that many businesses are struggling with their fire safety obligations,” adds Padraig Muldoon, Stephen’s colleague in the marketing department. “My Ez Fire Check is such a great solution.” The My EZ Fire Check app saves businesses both time and money when it comes to fire checks. The system

is completely paperless. All checks are conducted using a mobile device that is preloaded with proprietary software. Once the checks are completed and signed off, the data is timestamped and stored in the cloud. This means that files can be accessed instantly if and when they are needed. The software is formatted to issue reminders and will send alerts if checks are missed. Combined, all of these features drastically reduce the amount of admin required to stay on top of fire safety obligations. Lack of time and knowledge are two of the biggest issues My Ez Fire Check is seeing with customers. “Many hotel and bar managers are run off their feet with a seemingly endless amount of day-today tasks. Quite often, fire checks can be seen as a problem for another day,” said Stephen. “However, they needn’t ever be a problem. Our benefits include increased accountability and efficiency, risk reduction and an elimination of paperwork. Not only can it help staff get about their day more productively, it also gives owners and management the added reassurance that all items were checked at the correct time.” This

is made possible through My Ez Fire Check’s use of tag technology. Checklist items will only be checked off when the device scans the tag located in a specific physical location. So far, reaction to the new innovation has been extremely positive. “Everyone we’ve spoken with has been really interested, especially once they’ve seen the app in action. We’re already working with well-known names in the bar and hotel industry including the Charlie Chawke Group, the Camden Court Hotel and parts of the Press Up Group. Only recently we met with reps of a nationwide retail brand,” says Padraig. “We’ve just updated our website (www. and the analytics data shows that there’s demand for the product across the board.”


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Christmas Drinks

So here i t i s , Merry


Christmas 25

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Christmas Drinks

W r i t e r s’ Te a r s D o u b l e O a k I r i s h W h i s ke y


SWEET VANILLA, Writers’ Tears Double Oak is the latest NOTES OF addition to the award-winning Writers’ Tears CINNAMON, PLUM range of Irish whiskeys. Writers’ Tears Double AND POACHED Oak is a blend of two premium whiskey styles PEAR – Single Pot Still and Single Malt – aged in two types of wood – American and French PALATE: PRESSED Oak. It’s triple-distilled, non-chill filtered and GRAPES AND bottled at 46% ABV. The new expression is CITRUS ZEST made possible by a close collaboration FINISH: CHOCOLATE between the Walsh family in Co Carlow and UNDERTONES AND the Legaret family in Cognac, France. LINGERING SPICE Writers’ Tears Double Oak was awarded the highly regarded Masters’ medal at the Irish Whiskey Masters this year, receiving over 90 points from all judges. Of the hundreds of entrants, only 10 whiskeys were awarded this medal. Established in 1999 by husband and wife, Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, Walsh Whiskey is a producer of premium and super-premium, triple-distilled, craft, Irish whiskeys – Writers’ Tears and The Irishman. Over the years, the company has built a portfolio of international award-winning drinks brands. These include nine core expressions in a range of 15 premium Irish whiskeys under the Writers’ Tears and The Irishman brands, as well as the Hot Irishman Irish coffee and The Irishman – Irish Cream liqueur.

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin Hot on the heels of winning the Best Gin Oscar at the 2019 Flaviar awards in New York, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is preparing for a busy Christmas and will be available in a gift box featuring a bespoke glass to match the blue bottle. From the Curious Mind of PJ Rigney, every drop of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is slow-distilled by hand with oriental botanicals and Gunpowder Tea, hand-bottled, sealed and labelled by the team at The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney. This is the first time in the history of the Flaviar awards that an Irish gin brand has won a ‘Best Spirit Award’ and claimed the Best Gin title. Since the win, 10 new employees have joined The Shed team and 25 further jobs will bring the total number of employees up to 60.


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Christmas Drinks

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum is known as one of the finest rum brands in the world. Aged for up to 12 years, the brand is recognised for its complexity, unique body and excellent balance. Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is part of the Tradition Range along with Mantuano and Planas, all carefully crafted rums from premium sugar cane using a rich variety of distillation methods.

S a u s a g e Tr e e P u r e I r i s h Vo d ka

T h e I r i s h m a n Fo u n d e r ’s Reserve

Sausage Tree Pure Irish Vodka is the second big brand from The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney. To create the vodka, PJ’s journey led him to Africa to discover the Kigelia africana or “Sausage Tree”. Known for its curative and purifying powers, PJ brought it back to The Shed Distillery and together with wild Irish nettle from the Drumshanbo woodlands, slow distilled it to create Sausage Tree Pure Irish Vodka. The brand has already struck a chord with the drinks industry and joins Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin in leading international markets including the US, Russia, the UK, Israel, Australia, Benelux and France.

Distributed by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits, The Irishman Founder’s Reserve comes in a special glass gift pack this Christmas. The original and signature blend created by founder Bernard Walsh uses 70% Single Malt and 30% Single Pot Still. When Bernard Walsh saw the brand name and logo used in a trailer for Martin Scorsese’s new movie “The Irishman”, he made the film’s director an offer he couldn’t refuse – complimentary Irishman for all the movie’s premieres, in a letter inside a special sealed casket, which also contained a personalised bottle of The Irishman Cask Strength.


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Christmas Drinks

F i v e Fa r m s I r i s h Cream Liqueur Five Farms is a single batch Irish Cream Liqueur, entirely sourced and produced in Cork and made with premium triple-distilled Irish Whiskey. Awarded the Chairman’s Trophy at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2018, Five Farms received a score of 97, the highestever score for an Irish Cream Liqueur brand in the global spirits competition. Five Farms contains a greater amount of Irish Whiskey than other brands on the market. The resulting intensity of whiskey flavour sets Five Farms apart from every other Irish cream liqueur in the world.

Gosling's Dark ‘N Stormy Bermuda’s national drink, Gosling’s Dark ‘N Stormy is a perfect marriage of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum which has a rich, intricate flavour and Gosling’s own specially-crafted Gosling’s Ginger Beer. Gosling's Black Seal Rum is a dark rum, made from a 150-yearold Gosling’s family recipe, which blends three different rums, aged independently for between three and six years in charred American oak casks.

Cocchi Ve r m o u t h Italy’s premium vermouth, Cocchi brings flavour and flare to low ABV and spritz Christmas cocktail menus. The range boasts five diverse flavours, including the popular Americano and Rosa options, ideal for simple spritz additions to festive menus. Simply add 50ml Cocchi vermouth, 75ml of Prosecco, 25ml of soda and a fresh fruit garnish. To make the Mediterranean favourite, Vermouth Di Torino, use 50ml of Di Torino with 125ml of tonic water and a twist of lemon. Exceptional flavour and all only 16.5% ABV. Since 1891, Cocchi has been producing swinebased aperitifs and 100% Piedmontese sparkling wines following the best traditions of the Asti area. 28

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Christmas Drinks

Garnet Irish craft beer brewery, Rye River Brewing Company, has created a new limited edition Rye River Seasonal brew entitled ‘GARNET’. The new beer is a cognac barrel aged imperial brown ale and has a 10-year shelf life. Described as a unique brew, Garnet has been matured in cognac barrels for seven months to produce intensified aromas in this perfectly blended, seasonal beer. Rye River Brewing Company was recently crowned the world’s most decorated independent craft brewery at the World Beer Awards 2019. The company has achieved critical acclaim on the world stage, winning an unprecedented 21 World Beer Awards in 2019, officially making it the “world’s most decorated independent craft brewery.”

Hennessy Whether it’s VS, V.S.O.P or X.O, Hennessy has the perfect gift set this festive season. Only the most distinctive eaux-de-vie are selected, matured and blended to create Hennessy VS. Hennessy was also the first spirit to identify ginger as the perfect pairing, as it enhances the natural spice of the cognac. With their beautifully rounded structure, the eauxde-vie selected for the Hennessy V.S.O.P stand out for their well-structured character and their ability to evolve well over several years. At once smooth and powerful, from the outset they exhibit an excellent capacity to mature in barrel, where they will develop to their full potential. The icon of the House, Hennessy X.O, remains unchanged since its creation in 1870. A blend of 100 eaux-de-vie, its deep amber colour is a sign of its intensity.

Moet & Chandon Imperial Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, a bottle of Moët Impérial is opened somewhere in the world every second. History is ripe with traditions created by the brand, from Moët Imperial being christened ‘Impérial’ as a tribute to Napoléon I, to racing champion Dan Gurney spontaneously spraying Moët Impérial from the winner’s podium in 1967, starting a lasting “champagne spray”

tradition. Since 1992, the brand has also taken a front row seat at the Golden Globes awards and has played a starring role in Pretty Woman, The Devil Wears Prada and The Great Gatsby. Moët Impérial brings together three main grape varieties of Champagne while Rosé Impérial is distinguished by a bouquet of tasting notes of red fruits with floral nuances of rose and a slight hint of pepper.


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13/12/2019 11:19

Advertise in

Issue 5 2019

The Brand King John

Cassidy on life at Edward Dillon & Co

Get your alcohol-free buzz on

Get the party started Our round-up of the most festive tipples this Christmas


Celebrating 30 years of business at the King’s Head in Galway

Vaughan Yates on the Virgin Mary’s first six months



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To discuss advertising opportunities, contact Trish Murphy, Sales & Sponsorship Director on 01 432 2231 or email

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Spotlight on,,,

SpiritsMarket T he value of spirits exports from Ireland increased by 10.2% between 2017 and 2018, from €916 million to over €1 billion, according to the annual Irish Spirits Market Report, released by Drinks Ireland | Spirits. The report, which assesses the performance of Ireland’s domestic spirits market and the spirits export industry, found that overall sales in the home market increased by 6.6%, from 2.25 million 9-litre cases in 2017 to 2.40 million cases in 2018. This was driven by consumer demand for Irish Whiskey and gin. This sales growth comes even though overall alcohol consumption has declined in Ireland from its peak in 2001. Irish Whiskey is the second most popular spirit in Ireland, with a 25.1% share of the market. Sales increased by 5.4% between 2017 and 2018. Gin sales soared in Ireland last year, up by 31.8% during the same period. Gin maintained its position as the fastest growing spirit in the domestic market. Despite a strong performance by both gin and whiskey, vodka remains Ireland’s favourite spirits drink, accounting for 33.7% of all spirits sales, up by 4.8% between 2017 and 2018. 2018 was the first year that spirits exports were worth more than €1 billion to the Republic of Ireland’s economy. However, there are clouds on the horizon, according to Aoife Clarke, Chair at Drinks Ireland | Spirits. Transatlantic trade in spirits had seen, over the course of the last 25 years, the removal of almost all trade barriers for both sides. “It is deeply disappointing to see this going into

reverse with the re-emergence in the last year of barriers to trade. The European Union’s 25% rebalancing tariff on US whiskey and bourbon (introduced in July 2018) and impending US tariffs on European spirit products (including Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream liqueur) moves us in the direction of a full-scale assault on the reciprocal trade freedoms that US and European spirit companies have enjoyed and mutually benefited from for nearly a quarter of a century.” Drinks Ireland | Spirits is calling on the European Commission to step forward and defend the trade freedoms that have helped Irish producers prosper and exports

grow. “The current number one and number two export destinations for Ireland’s drinks products are the United States (by a significant distance) and the United Kingdom. Both markets will be seriously challenged in years to come because of changing trade relationships. The drinks sector is calling on the Government to assist where it can. There are no winners in a trade war.” Ireland retains the bronze medal position for the highest spirits excise applied in the EU 28. “We ask that Government considers a reduction of 15% in excise tax over a two-year period to assist the sector deal with the challenges it faces.”


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Back Bar


To mark the occasion and to say ‘thank you’ to the local community that has supported them over the past three decades, Paul and Mary Grealish recently hosted a coffee and cake morning with all proceeds going to the Galway Rape Crisis Centre. Paul said, “For us, it is and always has been a labour of love. We are also thrilled that our three grown-up kids have all worked in the pub since an early age and continue to make a valuable contribution to the family business. The survival and success of the business up until now has been down to a number of key factors – a commitment to the rich heritage of the building, a commitment to great food, drink and entertainment, our fantastic staff, local support and our location in the wonderful city of Galway.” The King's Head is famously associated with live comedy and theatre in Galway, both as a breeding ground for

comedy talent and as a venue. In the early 1990s, it became home to The Flying Pig Theatre Company whose members included Tommy Tiernan. He said: “I would be lost without The King's Head. I started performing there 26 years ago and I am still going back. I have done standup shows, improvised shows, Eamon Kelly, Sean O’Casey and JM Synge shows there. They took me under their wing and thank God for that. And the adventure goes on, the space is still active. It is a wonderful thing to have right bang in the centre of town an unpredictable platform, where, from a stand-up point of view, magic can happen. I am deeply indebted to Paul and Mary for their sustained patronage.”


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. . . n o o S Coming

The 2020 Bar of the Year will be launching in January 2020 For sponsorship opportunities contactTrish Murphy, Sales & Sponsorship Director E: T: 01 432 2231 / 086 837 9246

Thank you to our

2019 Sponsors Ireland & Northern Ireland

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“Nature’s purest tasting VODKA” WWW.DALCASSIANWINES.COM

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13/12/2019 26/09/2019 15:22 09:05

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