Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard is opening the doors to its Irish Whiskey Academy to the general public for the first time, with in-depth courses available to spirits enthusiasts from December this year.
The Irish Whiskey Academy, which was unveiled to the trade in September 2013, aims to improve understanding about the quality and provenance of Irish whiskey by teaching visitors about all aspects of the production process, the flavour profile of the different styles available and the category's rich and colourful history.
A range of courses are available depending on the individual's level of knowledge, with the first 'Enthusiasts' course taking place between 1st – 2nd December 2014. Led by David McCabe, Irish Distillers' International Whiskey Ambassador and first Academy Tutor, participants will have the opportunity to meet some of the distillery team, learn about brewing, fermentation, distillation and blending, watch a live cooperage demonstration and enjoy a tutored whiskey tasting with one of the production Masters. One-day 'Discoverer' courses, for those who have minimal knowledge about Irish whiskeys but want to learn more, are available from February 2015 while four-hour afternoon courses are available from November this year.
The Irish Whiskey Academy is the latest initiative from Irish Distillers as it continues its commitment to sustain growth of the Irish whiskey category worldwide. David Byrne, Head of Brand Education & Visitor Centres at Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, said: "After years of planning, we're delighted to finally be welcoming whiskey fans from around the world to the Irish Whiskey Academy in Midleton, the home of Irish Distillers. As the first of its kind, the Academy heralds a new era of knowledge and understanding of Irish whiskey and we look forward to welcoming people to Midleton and helping them to discover the heritage and unique flavour profile that Irish whiskeys have to offer."
Simon Fay, International Marketing Director at Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard since July 2014, added: "The opening of the Irish Whiskey Academy represents a proud moment for the Irish Whiskey category, and for Irish Distillers and Pernod Ricard in particular. The company has been largely responsible for the resurgence and dynamic global growth of the Irish whiskey category in the last two decades and we're fully committed to continuing this growth. The opening of the Irish Whiskey Academy is a clear demonstration of both our confidence in the future of Irish whiskey and our commitment to driving sustainable category growth through investment and innovation, and we're hopeful that it will prove to be popular with spirits fans and trade professionals alike the world over."