New Irish whiskey venture marks company’s first Irish whiskey distillery

Brown-Forman Corporation held its official ground breaking ceremony today for Slane Distillery, the company’s initial entry into distilling Irish whiskey. Slane Distillery is also the first distillery built by Brown-Forman outside of the United States. The U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, joined representatives from Brown-Forman and Slane Castle for the distillery’s official construction kick-off.

Slane Distillery, which will also include a visitor experience, is planned to open in late 2016. The new distillery will create nearly 25 new full-time jobs while the construction process will support approximately 80 jobs. The distillery is being built in the grounds of Slane Castle which is located in the middle of a 1,500 acre estate in the heart of Ireland’s Boyne Valley, 30 miles north of Dublin. Slane Castle is the home of Henry Conyngham, the eighth Marquess Conyngham, and his son, Alex Conyngham, the Earl of Mount Charles, whose family has been part of the Slane community for generations.

“Brown-Forman brands are founded on heritage, quality and authenticity, and there is nowhere as real as this beautiful and historic part of Ireland. We will leverage our wood and whiskey making prowess to create world class whiskey at Slane Distillery.”
– Lawson Whiting, Brown-Forman executive vice president and chief brands & strategy officer


From left to right: Henry Conyngham, the eighth Marquess Conyngham, Kevin O’Malley, U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Alex Conyngham, Earl of Mount Charles, Brooke Brown Barzun, fifth generation family shareholder of Brown-Forman, Lawson Whiting, Brown-Forman executive vice president and chief brands & strategy officer

Ambassador O’Malley signed the first cask that will be filled with whiskey from the distillery. He was joined by Whiting as well as Brooke Brown Barzun, fifth generation family shareholder of Brown-Forman, and Henry and Alex Conyngham of Slane.

“This is a great coming together of two historic families – the Browns of Kentucky and the Conynghams of Slane.  We are very proud to join forces to bring exciting new Irish whiskeys to the world. The commencement of work on the distillery is just a first step in developing a new Irish whiskey brand and welcoming guests to the new distillery.”
– Henry Conyngham of Slane

Slane Distillery Rendering

Slane Distillery Rendering

The distillery and visitor center, which is in the historic stables complex adjacent to Slane Castle, will involve the 18th century buildings being restored and converted to house both the production operations and the consumer experience. The first Slane Irish whiskeys will be launched to market in early 2017 – initially using high quality whiskey purchased from other Irish distilleries and finished to Slane’s exacting recipes and specifications while the first whiskey from the distillery is laid down to mature.  Upon completion it will have a potential output of more than 600,000 cases.

“Whiskey by its nature requires a long-term approach, and we look forward to bringing people on a journey of discovery with us. We will offer a range of blended, pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys in the premium and super premium segments. Visitors will be able to come here and literally see where the grain is growing and how we are producing it with care.”
– Alex Conyngham of Slane

For more information about Slane Distillery and Slane Irish Whiskey, please visit Follow the progress of Slane Distillery at, via Twitter @SlaneWhiskey and via Instagram @SlaneWhiskey.