Walsh Whiskey was founded in 1999 by husband-and-wife team, Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, and is centered around brands The Irishman and Writers’ Tears, which are sold in over 50 countries.
Amber Beverage Group says the acquisition is a ‘strategically significant’ move for the company, allowing it to enter the fast-growing Irish Whiskey sector which has been enjoying sales growth of 140% (2010-2020), outstripping all other spirits categories. Furthermore, Irish Whiskey sales are projected to growth 33% from 2020-2024, according to IWSR figures.
With an existing reach into 185 countries, Amber Beverage Company will expand distribution of Walsh’s brands. It highlights the complementary strengths of the two companies: Walsh Whiskey’s expertise in crafting Irish whiskey, combined with strong distribution partners, and Amber Beverage Group’s marketing and distribution strength across the world.
The co-founder of Walsh Whiskey, Bernard Walsh, will continue as Managing Director and oversee all aspects of the business including the development and production of whiskeys. “We are delighted to embark on a new phase of growth as part of Amber Beverage Group,” he said.
“Given the underlying strengths of our brands and of the long-term trajectory of Irish whiskey, this is a logical next step for us, providing a means of scaling up the business so that a greater number of consumers have the opportunity to participate in the search for the perfect drop or ‘taoscán’ of whiskey."
Jekaterina Stuģe, CEO of Amber Beverage Group, said: “This is a major step for us as a company. We already own and bottle 100 brands as well as distributing and selling more than 1,300 third-party brands. This is the first time we have entered into the whiskey sector and we are particularly pleased that Amber Beverage Group is now part of the consistently high-growth story that is the super-premium end of the Irish whiskey market.
"We are thrilled to add this category to our portfolio by welcoming Walsh Whiskey into our Group. We look forward to working with Bernard and the team, whose knowledge of the Irish whiskey sector will prove invaluable to us as we develop.”
Based in Carlow, near Dublin, Walsh Whiskey is a producer of premium and super-premium, triple-distilled, craft, Irish whiskeys – Writers’ Tears and The Irishman. To date the company has produced 23 expressions including historic recipes and a range of rare finishes including Mizunara, Florio Marsala, Rum, Cognac, Coffee Stout, Seaweed IPA, Icewine and of course Oloroso and PX Sherries.
The Irishman has 5 core expressions (The Irishman – Founder’s Reserve; Single Malt; 12-Year-Old Single Malt; 17-Year-Old Single Malt & the Vintage Cask). These triple-distilled whiskeys are centred around single malt expressions and four limited-edition special cask finishes.
Writers’ Tears comprises a range of eight expressions of super-premium, triple-distilled Irish whiskeys. The range is focused on pot-still and includes four core (Copper Pot, Double Oak, Single Pot Still & Red Head) as well as four limited-edition expressions.