Irish Whiskey Association launches campaign to protect Irish Whiskey

The Irish Whiskey Association has unveiled a new campaign to protect the category from products that are wrongly advertised, packaged, displayed or named in a way that makes them appear to be Irish Whiskey.

The group said that Irish whiskey must be distilled and matured in wooden casks on the Island of Ireland for at least three years for it to be called Irish whiskey. They add that the campaign is directed at whiskey producers, distributors and all who value Irish whiskey.

The association points out there are many ways that consumers could be misled to believe a product is genuine Irish whiskey – the use of names or devices associated with Ireland like shamrocks or Irish surnames; when a local ‘whisky’ is produced in another country containing some Irish Whiskey and passed off as Irish Whiskey; a product being called Irish whiskey when, in fact, it’s not as it doesn’t meet specific production requirements; the use of descriptions such as “Irish Type Whiskey” or “Irish Style Whiskey” are forbidden under Irish Whiskey’s Geographical Indication protection status; misleading packaging; Point-Of-Sale material and advertising; misleading age claims; and when a product is displayed amongst Irish whiskey.

Irish whiskey generates €410m in exports sale a year and is expected to double by 2020.

The association said its campaign is meant to ensure the integrity of the category is maintained and will ensure that its potential is maximized. It adds that the association cannot police all the markets around the world and therefore rely on data and information from others to alert them to instances of misleading labeling, imitation or unfair competition so that action can be taken.

The Irish Whiskey Association is urging anyone who notices potentially misleading products to report it to Carleen Madigan, c/o Irish Whiskey Association, 84/86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2 or by e-mail to with:

o The name of the brand
o The wording on the label
o The names of any companies identified on the labels
o The name and address of the outlet where the product is being sold.
o Photographs of the display (with date photographs were taken)

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