Walsh Whiskey Distillery has awarded Kilkenny firm Duggan Lynch the contract to build the company’s world-class, craft Irish whiskey distillery at Royal Oak, Carlow by the banks of the River Barrow.

The construction process will provide up to 70 jobs during the 18 month development phase. The distillery is scheduled to be fully completed in the Spring of 2016. Whiskey production will commence before that, in late 2015.

The distillery will have the capacity to produce 500,000 cases (two million litres of pure alcohol (LPA’s) or 6 million bottles) of whiskey annually of Walsh Whiskey’s critically acclaimed, award winning, super-premium and ultra-premium Irish whiskey brandsThe Irishman and Writerṣ Tears. The distillery will be unique as the only distillery in Ireland to produce all three types of Irish whiskey in one still house, namely – pot, malt, grain. The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland, is supporting the project.

The founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery, Mr Bernard Walsh said: “We are pleased to be appointing Duggan Lynch which has a strong track record of delivering projects to plan. This is the first time a purpose-built distillery has been constructed in Carlow in over 200 years. We look forward to sharing a dram of some historic whiskey in a few short years from now.”

Located on an 18th century estate comprising 40 acres of pastoral land, the craft distillery will feature:

  • Two production lines, incorporating three copper stills (three pot and one twin column ‘Coffey’ still) sourced from Forsyth’s, the world leaders in whiskey still production.
  • The building materials used will be sympathetic to the environs. The buildings are being roofed in slate roof in keeping with Holloden House, copper fittings and oak trim will also be applied.
  • The development will include two maturation houses with capacity for 60,000 barrels. The warehouses will be clad in green and creeper plants trained up the walls.
  • The estate’s roadways will be sunken to limit visibility.
  • None of Royal Oak’s seven species of oak tree and other species including Beech, Sycamore, Ash and Chestnut) will be felled as a result of the construction process.
  • A stone wall restoration program will also be implemented.

Essential maintenance and renovation work is already underway on the 18th century Holloden House through M&S Construction headed by Stewart Gittins. The house, which dates back to c.1760, will form part of the visitor experience for the 75,000 annual whiskey tourists expected by 2021. 

The Walsh Whiskey Distillery Design Team

  • WWD Project Engineer:  Frank O’Rourke.
  • Distillery Consultant:  Stuart Nickerson, The Malt Whisky Co. Ltd.
  • Project Managers, Architects, Fire Safety Engineers, Conservation Architects:  Bluett & O’Donoghue:  Director in charge;  James O’Donoghue.
  • Quantity surveyors:  McCullough Lupton Quinn  Project QS; Shane McCullough.
  • Civil/ Structural & Engineers:  Fearon O’Neill Rooney.  John Rooney and Jose Poveda.
  • Mechanical & Electrical Engineers:  J.V. Tierney & Co.  Director:  Rory Burke.
  • Lead contractor: Duggan Lynch.