Belfast Telegraph

Londonderry drinks company hoping to dram up success

By Margaret Canning

Memories of a beloved father have prompted a Londonderry company to expand its "niche" from Irish cream to whiskey.

Niche Drinks is launching an eight-year-old single malt and a blended whiskey under the brand 'The Quiet Man'. The range will be distributed in Northern Ireland by Drinks Inc.

Niche managing director Ciaran Mulgrew said the launch was a personal and business milestone.

"My father, John Mulgrew, was a barman who worked for over 50 years in various bars around Belfast and Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

"From a very young age he would bring me into work with him and I grew up loving the sounds and smells of the bar, the craic, the laughter and the smell of the whiskey.

"I always thought that if I ever got to make my own whiskey I would name it after my father. In 50 years as a barman he saw a lot of things and heard a lot of stories, but like all good bartenders, he was true to his code and told no tales. He was 'The Quiet Man' or as they say in the Irish 'An Fear Ciuin'."

Niche Drinks has been manufacturing and exporting Irish cream liqueurs from its base on Rossdowney Road in Derry for around 30 years.

Its new whiskey features an image of John Mulgrew from the 1950s, when he worked in Kelly's Cellars in Belfast.

Niche Drinks have secured planning permission for their own distillery and visitor centre in Derry.

The Quiet Man Craft Irish Whiskey Distillery will be the first new-build distillery in the city for over 150 years.

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