Proximo-owned Irish whiskey producer Bushmills has opened the doors of its new state-of-the-art Causeway Distillery, a 39,000 sq ft facility that will double the brand’s production.
The £37 million distillery is part of a wider five-year £60m investment in the Irish whiskey producer, which also includes an expansion of its maturation facilities.
The opening follows a stellar year for Bushmills, with depletions climbing 10% and volumes passing one million case sales for the first time in its history.
Named after the nearby Giant’s Causeway, the new site was developed with a focus on sustainability.
Equipment makes use of thermal technology to cut energy usage by 30%, while distilling innovations have improved material consumption efficiency by up to 10%.
Blending “high tech with ancient craft”, the Causeway Distillery means Bushmills now ranks among the largest single malt whisk(e)y producers globally.
Proximo is also looking to capitalise on the area’s popularity as a tourist destination with plans for a new “immersive” visitor centre at the distillery.
The opening coincides with Bushmills’s 415th anniversary, and 25 year old and 30 year old expressions have been released to commemorate the occasion.
These are currently available in European airports such as Dublin and Paris Charles de Gaulle, and will soon be available in top travel retail outlets worldwide.
Bushmills 25 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey has been finished in Port pipes. The 46% ABV, non-chill-filtered bottling is said to offer notes of caramelised cherries, dark chocolate, honey and sweet spices. It has an RRP of $900/£790/€850 (700ml).
Bushmills 30 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey has been finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. Also bottled at 46% and non-chill-filtered, its given tasting notes include dates, fig, vanilla and warm pastries. It has an RRP of $2,200/£1,990/ €2,000 (700ml).
Colum Egan, Bushmills Master Distiller, described the opening of the Causeway Distillery as the “start of an exciting new chapter”.
“We are obsessed with exceptional whiskeys – the ingredients, the processes, the wood, the ageing,” he continued.
“Our second distillery represents a great step forward in ensuring generations to come will enjoy our renowned signature triple-distilled single malts alongside the innovations of the future.”
Gordon Dron, Proximo Managing Director EMEA APAC, added “This is a proud day for Bushmills and a major milestone since its acquisition by Proximo in 2015.
“Consistent with global premiumisation, we are witnessing high double-digit growth of our unique Bushmills Irish single malts in all key segments and across a number of exciting new markets.
“The Causeway Distillery will enable us to meet the demand of new single malt consumers and seize this fast-growing value opportunity worldwide in the next decade and beyond.”
Speaking on the two releases, Alex Thomas, Bushmills Master Blender, said: “Today, as we look to the future, it is fitting to release these two rare expressions. They are a testament to our passion for aged single malt.
“Maturing patiently and cared for by a generation of skilled craftspeople, these refined whiskeys have spent a lifetime in hand-selected oak casks and are now ready to take their place as true legends of Irish single malt.”
In February, Bushmills released its oldest single malt expression exclusively at Heathrow Airport with World Duty Free, a 33 Year Old Port Cask that was the tenth and final instalment in the brand’s cask-focused Causeway Collection.