World facing Irish whiskey shortage, says industry expert
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World facing Irish whiskey shortage, says industry expert

THE SPIRALLING demand for Irish whiskies could see a global shortage, according to a leading industry expert.

John Teeling, founder and former owner of the Cooley Distillery in Louth, says the demand for the spirit could outstrip current supply levels.

Mr Teeling, who sold his distillery to Suntory in 2012, added that there ‘is no aged malt in Ireland’.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Mr Teeling said: “Soon there will be a shortage of Irish whiskey.

“What we are making now, you won’t sell for seven years.

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“So we will have a shortage if the rate of growth continues at a cumulative rate over the next six or seven years.”

Mr Teeling, who now heads the Great Northern Distillery in Dundalk, added that there is a dearth of aged malt in Ireland.

He said: “Great Northern is successful because the market is growing so strong.

“But there is no aged malt in Ireland.

“It’s all gone and all the Cooley-aged malt that Suntory bought and sold for even higher prices is gone.”

He added: “There is no aged and there won’t be for some years.”

It’s not all bad news though.

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Investment company Ilen River Partners this week announced a €10million fund to lend to whiskey distilleries and businesses across Ireland.

Created with the support of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, it aims to help support the growing Irish whiskey industry by offering financial solutions tailored to distilleries.

Sales of Irish whiskey are growing at 10 per cent-plus a year in more than 75 countries.

The value of Irish whiskey exports was more than €600million in 2017 and based on forecast growth levels, will reach €2billion by 2030.