Lord Offord declares Titanic Distillers officially open for business
Lord Offord visited us yesterday to officially mark the opening of Belfast’s first working whiskey distillery in almost 90 years.
The Minister, who took up his position at the Department of Business and Trade in April this year, performed the opening ceremony at the new distillery, where whiskey production is now under way for the first time in Belfast since the days of prohibition in the 1930s.
Lord Offord unveiled a commemorative plaque at our distillery which is based on the site of the historic Thompson Dock and Pumphouse, the birthplace of RMS Titanic.
As well as meeting with Titanic Distillers directors, the Lord enjoyed a brief tour of our distillery and visitor centre, including a whiskey tasting with Head Distiller; Damien Rafferty.
Our visitor centre opened its doors to tourists in April this year. Last month, we received our Distillers License to start producing spirits and the stills have been fired up and pouring ever since.
Our Director Peter Lavery reflected on the company’s journey to date.
“We are delighted to welcome Lord Offord here today to perform the Official Opening of Titanic Distillers at Thompson Dock,” said Peter.
“Today is the culmination of many years’ hard graft to bring this amazing project to life - and while it marks the end of the first ‘construction’ phase, it also signals the start of another phase as we start producing a whiskey and a brand that the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland can be proud of, and that will represent us well all over the world.”
The new distillery will produce single malt premium whiskey made from ingredients that have been carefully selected to produce the best possible flavour.
A unique house blend of malted barley and yeast is used to produce the ‘wash’ which is then distilled in the three Forsyth’s stills, situated on a mezzanine floor overlooking the Pumphouse’s original Gwynne pumping engines which are deep in the building’s pump-well.
All of the original pump equipment and associated internal historic features in the adjacent Pumphouse have been retained and are available to view as part of our visitor tours, while the exterior includes a new food and beverage area.
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