The Irish Whiskey industry is in the midst of an extraordinary comeback. During the past couple of years, we’ve seen numerous price records set for a single bottle and one of the most prominent companies helping to spearhead the ultra-premium whiskey charge is The Craft Irish Whiskey Co.
It is little known that Ireland is where the story of whiskey began. First invented in the 14th century, Irish whiskey dominated the sector until it suffered a dramatic decline due to an unfortunate set of geopolitics, while Scottish whisky excelled, coming to dominate the sector through the sheer breadth and depth of its offering.
Yet Irish whiskey is now experiencing a renaissance, as the country’s emerging, small-scale but disruptive distilleries innovate whiskey on a scale not seen since the 19th century.
This has led to the rise of companies such as The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. who gained global attention last year with the release of The Devil’s Keep, a 29-year old single malt, triple distilled Irish whiskey, and the oldest and rarest in existence – only to be superseded by their second release in February 2021 of The Emerald Isle Collection.
The Emerald Isle Collection comes just in time for St. Patrick’s Day when countries around the world will be raising a glass to toast Ireland’s patron saint. The bespoke collection was created in collaboration with Fabergé and celebrates Ireland’s natural beauty and rich heritage in a series of seven highly collectable and special-edition experience boxes.
Each of the seven cases features two bottles of the 30-year-old Emerald Isle whiskey, accompanied by two unique and exclusive creations from Fabergé: the first-of-its-kind Celtic Egg objet and a bespoke Altruist timepiece.
Irish whiskey has seen a resurgence over the past decade, with Irish whiskey exports increasing by an extraordinary 300% in a decade and demonstrating 12 to 14 per cent year-on-year growth. Despite Covid-19, rare whiskey was reported as the best performing collectable, with values increasing in the last decade by 564%, according to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2020.
The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. specialises in sourcing rare whiskey and using ultra-premium finishing barrels for maturation which have contained previous spirit or wine to help deliver complex flavour profiles. The Emerald Isle’s single malt Irish whiskey has been aged in 200-litre’ first fill’ American oak casks, which previously stored bourbon, before being finished in a rare single 40-litre Pedro Ximénez sherry barrel.
The resulting flavour profiles range from chocolate fudge and maple syrup on the nose to sweet leather and silky-smooth, ripe banana on the palate, flowing into a long finish with hints of creamy meringue and rich vanilla cigar smoke.
It’s not just the Emerald Isle whiskey that is special: each experience box features a uniquely designed geometric illustration on the front, representing ‘The Seven Wonders of Ireland’ – from the Old Head of Kinsale to the Giant’s Causeway.
The Fabergé design team, along with Tiago Russo, Design Director at The Craft Irish Whiskey Co., worked together to choose locations that hold a certain mysticism or mythological interest, from The Blarney Stone to the Giant’s Causeway. Within the case can be found a bespoke handcrafted Fabergé Celtic Egg which accompanies the bottle of whiskey.
The seven unique eggs are set with a pavé diamond Celtic knot, a renowned symbol of Irish heritage, representing eternity, love and friendship.
Each egg opens to reveal a different gemstone within its exterior which has been carefully chosen to represent each of the seven locations, including Gemfields Zambian emerald, Gemfields Mozambican ruby, blue sapphire, amethyst, rhodolite, spessartite or tourmaline.
Speaking about The Emerald Isle Collection, Jay Bradley (above), Founder of The Craft Irish Whiskey Co., said: “There has always been a gap in the market for ultra-luxury whiskeys. Born from a conversation with my late father, The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. has a single mission: to create the finest whiskeys Ireland has ever made and to redefine global perceptions of luxury while building a legacy.
Working in partnership with Fabergé to launch The Emerald Isle Collection has been a dream come true for me and the team – and an unbelievable elevation for a 30-year whiskey, which was already going to be a particularly sought-after collector’s item. With the Fabergé addition, there is surely nothing that compares for the ultimate aficionado.”
The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. – Where and How?
Following its launch in February, The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Emerald Isle Collection will be sold at private auctions and events in key cities throughout 2021. Price POA.
The Devil’s Keep is available to purchase online, RRP 10,000 Euros.
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