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Lough Gill whiskey sold to owner of Southern Comfort

29 Jun 2022 / business Print

Lough Gill whiskey sold to owner of Southern Comfort

Hazelwood Demesne Limited, owner of the Lough Gill Distillery in Co Sligo, has announced its acquisition by Sazerac.

Sazerac is one of the world’s largest distilled spirits companies, with premium brands such as Buffalo Trace bourbon, Paddy Irish whiskey, Michael Collins Irish whiskey, Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, and Southern Comfort.

Fieldfisher Ireland LLP, which represents Sazerac, led the deal that will result in significant economic development in the west of Ireland.

Visitor centre

Under the deal’s terms, the Sazerac company will fully develop the 100-acre site – the original demesne of Hazelwood House – to create a world-class whiskey facility and visitor attraction centre.

Feilim Ó Caoimh (partner and head of corporate and commercia) spearheaded the deal alongside Conor Folan (senior associate, corporate), and drew on a broad range of legal expertise in corporate law, property and planning law, environmental law, and regulatory matters. 

Ó Caoimh said he looked forward to continuing to assist the Sazerac company as it significantly grows the footprint of Lough Gill Distillery over the coming years.

“This deal marks an exciting time for the Irish whiskey industry, and the drinks industry more broadly,” he said.

Sazerac is one of America’s oldest family-owned, privately-held distillers, with operations in the United States in Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, California, and global operations in the UK, Ireland, France, India, Australia and Canada. 

Warehouse complex

The distillery sits on a 100-acre peninsula surrounded on three sides by Lough Gill. It was founded in 2015 after the discovery of a vast warehouse complex, concealed by a forgotten 300-year-old Palladian house in Hazelwood forest, Co Sligo. 

The warehouse complex has been sustainably repurposed into a world-class single malt distillery, which was commissioned in 2019 after a four-year development project. It uses state-of-the art equipment and energy-capture technology to produce high-quality single-malt whiskey, with minimal environmental impact.

Three copper stills were handmade by Frilli, master craftsmen in Sienna, Italy, to produce single malt to the distillery’s specifications. The stills can produce over 1-million litres of alcohol per annum (about 3-million bottles), triple distilled.

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