Belfast Telegraph

The long wait's over for whiskey lovers

By Jim McDowell

Ireland losing last week's bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 to France was hard to swallow for everyone.

Belfast businessman and oval ball fan Willie Jack is no different.

But the entrepreneur who has spent years breathing vital new life into his native city's Cathedral Quarter is no stranger to long waits.

And he said that Irish rugby chiefs must be prepared to do the same.

Using rugby parlance, he says they must 'try, try and try again'.

"We'll get the big rugby world showpiece at some stage, no matter how long it takes," Mr Jack said.

And he knows all about waiting.

A new - or rather, old - whiskey he's just taken delivery of for his The Friend At Hand whiskey sales shop in the heart of Cathedral Quarter has been no less than 25 years in the making.

Mr Jack also owns the Harp Bar, the Dark Horse and the Duke of York in the Cathedral Quarter.

And he's given his own name to the special edition of Redbreast Single Cask whiskey. "What else but The Long Wait."

So Mr Jack's whiskey-only store - one prized bottle in there is priced at £12,000 - will become only one of four in the world to stock this particular single pot Redbreast, which was matured in a first fill Oloroso sherry butt cask.

The others are in London, Dublin and Paris.

This special whiskey was distilled and laid down in the Midleton Distillery in Co Cork in November 1991, and was selected exclusively by the distillery's master blender, Billy Leighton.

Belfast Telegraph

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