St. Patrick’s Day Isn’t Just About Beer Anymore
March 14, 2012 by John Haskins Director of Spirits Marketing Group
March: what a great month for the Irish! The winter is gone, the snow has melted and our customers turn to celebrate the coming of spring, baseball and, of course, St. Patrick's Day. We here at Heidelberg are so very fortunate to have two exciting new brands in the fast growing Irish Whiskey category from the Cooley Distillery: John L Sullivan, introduced in September of 2010; and Concannon Irish Whiskey which is available as of February 2012.
Cooley Distillery is the only independent distillery in Ireland and has quite the reputation for quality production. Established in 1987 with a vision to revive historical brands and distilling techniques, Cooley productions have captured the interest of huge numbers of consumers around the world. Their double distillation in long neck copper pot stills and finishing in American Bourbon barrels make Cooley products highly sought after during St. Patrick's Day. But Concannon takes the process one step further by finishing the aging process in Concannon Petite Sirah wine barrels for an additional four months. This added step provides a uniquely fruity character which allows it to stand out from the crowd and the experts agree. Concannon received a fabulous score of 93 points (Superb-Highly Recommended) from the prestigious Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
John L. Sullivan is also receiving praise from Wine Enthusiast, matching Concannon's impressive score of 93 and being named a Top 50 Spirit in 2011.
While taste is certainly important, on St. Patrick's Day it's equally important the Whiskey have traditional Irish roots. Both Concannon and John L. are traditional Irish Whiskies in every sense of the word.
Concannon comes from the Concannon Wine makers who are fourth generation vintners and the first Irish-born wine producers in the U.S. John L. Sullivan is named after the great Irish-American boxer John L. Sullivan the last bare-knuckle Heavyweight Champion of the World. John L was the first American sports hero to gain national celebrity and the first American athlete to earn over one million dollars.
For those of you uninitiated in the world of Irish Whiskey, you should know it was the fastest growing spirit Whiskey category for the last 12 months. Nationally, Irish Whiskey grew 23.6 % with the growth coming from the premium and super premium categories. In Ohio, the Irish category grew a phenomenal 26 % with wholesale business growing an even larger amount at 31%. The only other major category that showed stronger growth was flavored imported Vodka. This puts the Irish in pretty special company.
We're really looking forward to introducing these fine products to Whiskey experts and novices alike with all kinds of traditional and a few not-so-traditional drink recipes. If you're one of our retail customers, be sure to ask your sales representative about them. If not, check back here on St. Patrick's Day and we'll post a few for you to try on your own.
So instead of ordering that same pint of beer on St. Patrick's Day without a second thought, why not celebrate in style and give an Irish Whiskey a try? I guarantee you won't regret it!