At their virtual Awards this evening, Powerscourt Distillery’s Master Distiller Noel Sweeney was awarded the Irish Icons of Whiskey Master Distiller and Blender for 2021. The Icons of Whisky Awards are a celebration of the years of hard work that goes into every bottle. From the distillers themselves and brand ambassadors to visitor centre managers, bars, bartenders and the industry’s communicators – a great deal of craftsmanship, skill and knowledge are imparted at each stage of the process.
This honour follows hot on the heels of his recent award for his outstanding contributions to the Irish whiskey industry at the Irish Whiskey Association’s Chairman’s Awards in November.
Despite the considerable challenges facing the tourism and hospitality sector ensuing from COVID, the Powerscourt Distillery team have been focusing on the fundamentals. Delivering great customer experiences with their tours and tastings and building brand awareness and engagement with their consumers through digital innovation. These valiant efforts have been recognised with an Icons of Whiskey Visitor Centre Attraction of the year a highly commended award and Icons of Whiskey Campaign Innovator of the year another highly commended award for the hugely successful “Grains of Wisdom” a digital webinar initiated by the Marketing team from early April through to June 2020.
The good news continues for the brand going from strength to strength as two new European Distributors were announced this week. In France, BBC Spirits are the national importer and distributor for that market. BBC Spirits are a major importer in France and Greater Europe of luxury spirits from Europe/ Japan/ The Caribbean Islands/ USA and Mexico. Fercullen Irish Whiskey will also launch with Munros in Belgium, importers of spirits in this market. The Fercullen range of Irish Whiskeys will be in both markets in time for St Patrick’s Day.
Noel Sweeney has been at the forefront of innovation in Irish whiskey for over 30 years and 2020 was no different. From the relaunching of the flagship Fercullen 8 – year old to exclusive trade partner collaborations of single cask releases – Fercullen 13 year old Single Grain with James Fox, Fercullen 18 year old cask strength Muscatel finish single cask release with German distribution partner Irish Whiskey.de, to the sell-out success of the limited edition release of Fercullen Five Elements in November. The Five Elements 18YO Single Malt release showcases the skills acquired and honed over many years to distil and blend exceptional Irish Whiskey.
Passionate about his craft he is a founder member of the Irish Whiskey Association and was involved in the drafting of the Irish Whiskey G.I. Technical File. His recent appointment as the Chairperson of the Irish Whiskey Association Technical Committee will allow Noel to continue to contribute to the development and enhancement of Irish whiskey technical file and recognises his expertise in Irish Whiskey.
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For further details on POWERSCOURT DISTILLERY, please see www.powerscourtdistillery.com
NOTES TO EDITOR
Master Distiller Noel Sweeney has received several awards for distilling and whiskey excellence. He was inducted into The Whisky Magazine ‘Hall of Fame’ in 2017 and currently remains as one of just two Irish distillers to have been recognised in this way. A globally renowned whiskey expert, Noel is passionate about his craft and has released many international award-winning Irish whiskies over the years. He is a member of the Irish Spirits Association, a founding member of the Irish Whiskey Association and a key contributor to the GI technical file for Irish whiskey. Noel has devoted over 30 years patiently honing his craft and learning from former masters. He held a former position as assistant distiller to Gordon Mitchell, the first distiller at the Isle of Arran Distillery, Scotland.
The provenance of The Powerscourt Estate can be traced back to the 6th century, to a territory that stretches across fertile plains and through rugged mountainous terrain. Known in its native Gaelic tongue as “Fera-Culann” or Fercullen, its location in the foothold of the Wicklow mountains, so close to Dublin, made it a highly valued, strategic place. Ownership was claimed by numerous factions over the centuries, from the native Clans of O’Toole and O’Byrne, to the Norman house of LePoer, who built a castle there and from whom the estate takes its name. In the early 17th century, Powerscourt was gifted by Queen Elizabeth I to a favoured army general, Sir Richard Wingfield, an ancestral relative of the Slazenger family who currently hold the Estate.