Tullamore Dew, rendered in most branding as Tullamore D.E.W. (typically with the dots de-emphasized using color and font size), is a brand of Irish whiskey produced by William Grant & Sons. It is the second largest selling brand of Irish whiskey globally, with sales of over 1,500,000 cases per annum as of 2020.
|Manufacturer||William Grant & Sons|
|Country of origin||Tullamore, Ireland|
|Alcohol by volume||40%|
|Related products||Irish Mist|
The whiskey was originally produced in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland, at the old Tullamore Distillery which was established in 1829. Its name is derived from the initials of Daniel E. Williams (D.E.W.), a general manager and later owner of the original distillery. In 1954, the original distillery closed down, and with stocks of whiskey running low, the brand was sold to John Powers & Son, another Irish distiller in the 1960s, with production transferred to the Midleton Distillery, County Cork in the 1970s following a merger of three major Irish distillers.
In 2010, the brand was purchased by William Grant & Sons, who constructed a new distillery on the outskirts of Tullamore. The new distillery opened in 2014, bringing production of the whiskey back to the town after a break of sixty years.
In 2012, a visitor centre was opened in a refurbished bonded warehouse previously belonging to the original distillery. The centre offers guided tours and tutored tastings ranging from 50 minutes to 5 hours in duration.
The origins of Tullamore D.E.W. date back to 1829, when a distillery was established in Tullamore by Michael Molloy. On his death, the distillery eventually passed to his nephew, Bernard Daly who later appointed Daniel E. Williams as the distillery's General Manager. Under Williams's watchful eye, the distillery expanded and prospered, launching the whiskey bearing his initials (D.E.W.), Tullamore D.E.W..
In 1954, the distillery ceased production, having, like many of those in Ireland at the time, been hit by declining sales due to a number of factors such as Prohibition, the Anglo-Irish Trade War and high taxes introduced by the Irish Free State.
In the 1960s, with whiskey stocks running low, rather than reopen the distillery, the owners opted to sell the brand to John Powers & Son, the Dublin distillers. In 1966, John Powers & Son merged with two other Irish distilleries to form Irish Distillers. In the 1970s, Irish Distillers closed their existing distilleries and consolidated production at a new distillery built in Midleton, County Cork.
In 1994, Irish Distillers, then concentrating their international focus on promoting Jameson Irish whiskey, sold the brand to the C&C Group. Subsequently, the C&C Group divested their entire liqueur and spirit business (including Tullamore D.E.W.), which was acquired by William Grant & Sons for €300 million in 2010. At which point, Tullamore D.E.W. was still being produced under license by at the Midleton Distillery. Therefore, as expansion of the brand was dependent on the availability of whiskey from Midleton, and with significant growth envisaged, William Grant & Sons opted to construct a new distillery in Tullamore, rather than depend on outsourced production.
Construction of the distillery is to take place on a phased basis. Phase one was completed in 2014, which saw production of whiskey return to Tullamore for the first time in sixty years. The new distillery has the capability to produce both malt and pot still whiskey. However, it does not yet have a Coffey still installed to allow the production of grain whiskey. Therefore, as Tullamore D.E.W. is a blend of all three varieties of Irish whiskey, the grain whiskey component of the blend will continue to be sourced from Midleton until phase two is completed.
As of 2015, the whiskey sells about 950,000 cases per year (an amount that has doubled since 2005).
- Tullamore D.E.W. Original (40% ABV); a blend of triple-distilled pot still and malt, plus grain whiskey; matured in ex-bourbon and sherry casks
- Tullamore D.E.W. 10 year old Single Malt (40% ABV): single malt matured in ex-bourbon, Oloroso, Port and Madeira casks
- Tullamore D.E.W. 12 year old Special Reserve (40% ABV): blend with a high pot still and malt content; aged for 12–15 years in ex-bourbon and sherry casks
- Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix (55% ABV): named for a 1785 hot air balloon accident which nearly burned down the town of Tullamore; a blend with a high pot still content; aged in Oloroso sherry casks; only available in airport stores
- Tullamore D.E.W. 15 year old Trilogy (40% ABV): a blend; aged in ex-bourbon, Oloroso and rum casks
- Tullamore D.E.W. Old Bonded Warehouse Release (46% ABV): released in 2012 to celebrate the opening of a visitor centre in an old bonded warehouse (hence the name), it is only available in the visitor centre; aged in Oloroso casks
- Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask (40% ABV): finished in cider casks; was released in June 2015 for sale through airport retail outlets. It is claimed to be the first ever cider cask–finished Irish whiskey. Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey is finished for three months in barrels that have stored pressed fermenting apples for several months.
- Tullamore D.E.W. XO Rum Cask Finish (43% ABV):Original triple distilled triple blend of pot still, malt and grain Irish whiskey finished in first fill XO rum casks previously used to age Demerara Rum to impart their distinctive tropical fruit and warm spice flavours.
- Tullamore Dew is the whiskey of choice for Lisbeth Salander, the lead character in Stieg Larsson's Millennium novel series.
- In his early days folk singer Dave Van Ronk frequently performed with his trademark stoneware jug of Tullamore D.E.W. on stage next to him.
- In his early letters later collected in The Proud Highway, Hunter S. Thompson makes frequent mention of Tullamore Dew.
- Tullamore Dew is the whiskey of choice for the widow MacDonagh in Kevin Hearne's The Iron Druid Chronicles.
- "Tullamore D.E.W." William Grant & Sons. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Taylor, Charlie. "Irish whiskey sales near milestone of 12m cases a year". The Irish Times. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
- Townsend, Brian (1999). The Lost Distilleries of Ireland. Glasgow: Neil Wilson Press. ISBN 1897784872.
- Peter, Mulryan (2002). The Whiskeys of Ireland. Dublin: O'Brien Press. ISBN 0862787513.
- "Tullamore Dew Opens Irish Distillery". Drinks Industry Ireland. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Visit Us". Tullamore Dew official website. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "C&C eyes up local booze brands". The Irish Times. 3 May 2002. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Lodge, Alan (5 May 2010). "William Grant snaps up C&C's Irish Assets". www.thedrinksbusiness.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Proposed Development of the Tullamore Dew Distillery" (PDF). www.epa.ie. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- "The Craft". Tullamore Dew official website. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Tullamore D.E.W. Celebrates One Year Anniversary of the Tullamore Distillery". thetaste.ie. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Our range". Tullamore Dew official website. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Tullamore Original". Tullamore Dew official website. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Single Malt". Tullamore Dew official website. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "12 years old Special Reserve". Tullamore Dew official website. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Phoenix". Tullamore Dew official website. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Tullamore Trilogy". Tullamore Dew official website. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Bonded Warehouse". Tullamore Dew official website. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- McNamara, Stuart (28 June 2015). "Tullamore DEW Cider Cask Irish Whiskey Review". IrishWhiskey.com. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- Larsson, Stieg (2010). The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. Hachette UK. ISBN 978-1906694418.
- Van Ronk, Dave, The Mayor of MacDougal Street.