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The Irishman In Italy

ILLVA SARONNO announces the exclusive distribution in Italy of the Irish whiskey THE IRISHMAN, strengthening its agreement with the WALSH WHISKEY DISTILLERY

11 November 2015 – Illva Saronno, the long-established Italian wines and spirits producer and owner of the famous Disaronno brand, has strengthened its relationship with the Irish company Walsh Whiskey Distillery that began in 2013. It has announced an exclusive distribution agreement for two of Walsh Whiskey’s main products in Italy: The Irishman Single Malt and The Irishman Founder’s Reserve.


The Irishman is a premium brand that will enable Illva Saronno to invest in high quality, high profile whiskey that already enjoys an excellent international status. In Italy, it will be sold at selected retailers as well as cocktail and high-end whiskey bars in the sector as a part of normal trade. The company from Saronno thus confirms the group’s expansion strategy of seeking out investment opportunities in sectors with high potential. Irish Whiskey ranks third in the category of best-selling spirits worldwide  (VAR% = + 34% vs. 2006 – Source: Irishman); The Irishman brand is growing internationally (VAR% = + 35% vs. 2013) and is distributed in over 30 countries.



The partnership between the two companies, which began in 2013, includes an expansion plan for €25 million. This investment is funding the construction of a world-class whiskey distillery and visitor centre in Ireland, located on the 18th century, Royal Oak estate along the banks of the River Barrow in County Carlow. Once open in early 2016, the distillery will have an annual production capacity of over 650,000 cases (two and a half million litres of pure alcohol (LPA’s) or 8 million bottles), to be distributed internationally. This agreement will also allow Walsh Whiskey to exploit ILLVA’s well-established distribution network as well as its presence in strategically important markets such as India and China.


Augusto Reina, CEO of ILLVA Saronno, who signed the agreement with Bernand Walsh, founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery, said, “I am pleased to announce the exclusive distribution of the The Irishman whiskey in Italy. It is an honor for me to continue to invest in the Italian market by enriching our portfolio with such a top-quality product with such great potential like Irish whiskey. With this partnership, we will also strengthen our role as an international player in the world of spirits; it is expected that the sales volume of Irish Whiskey will double worldwide, surpassing 12 million cases.”


Bernard Walsh, the founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery said: “I am delighted to be signing this agreement with our strong and valued partner Illva Saronno on behalf of Walsh Whiskey Distillery. We are proud that our ultra-premium The Irishman whiskey will now be distributed across such an important country as Italy.”


The Irishman Single Malt and The Irishman Founder’s Reserve will be distributed in Italy as of 1 November 2015 on a national scale.


The Irishman Single Malt is one of only a handful of Irish triple distilled single malts on the market.  This is a classic Irish Malt, triple distilled and aged in Bourbon and Sherry Casks.  Each batch is limited to a maximum of 6,000 bottles.  The Irishman Single Malt has won medals both in Europe and the USA for its outstanding quality.



The Irishman Founder’s Reserve is a unique expression of the old Irish Pot Still Whiskey and is the original and signature blend created by founder Bernard Walsh.  It is a blend of two styles, Single Malt and Single Pot Still. The proportions used are 70% Single Malt and 30% Single Pot Still. The Founder’s Reserve is triple distilled and matured in Bourbon Casks.  It is one of the highest rated Irish Whiskey’s in Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible with 93 points.

For reference:

Sara Amadei

Tel: +39-335-178 1106/ e-mail: SAmadei@disaronno.it


Woody Kane

Tel: +353876111581/ e-mail:  woody@walshwhiskey.com


About Illva Saronno Holdings

In the world of Spirits, ILLVA SARONNO HOLDING S.P.A. owns the Disaronno, Zucca, Isolabella, Tia Maria brands, in addition to Duca di Salaparuta, Florio and Corvo wines. As such, it confirms the group’s strong internationalization strategy, distributing its flagship products in more than 160 countries. In addition to its subsidiaries in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Shanghai and the United States, the holding also has a Joint Venture with the Indian MODI ILLVA with the Modi Group in Delhi and owns 43% of the Chinese Changyu, the largest producer of wines in China.

About Walsh Whiskey Distillery:

Established in 1999 by husband and wife, Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, Walsh Whiskey Distillery Company is a leading producer of super-premium and ultra-premium, triple-distilled, craft, Irish whiskies.

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