Things are coming to a head here whiskey wise in West Clare. The final electrics are going on our Rackhouse, (basically some pretty lights…..) We have had some great customer meetings and importer conversations. Our security system which is effectively an early version of SKYNET is going in and we are finalising our “BOND.” I was going to try to explain on this blog post what a BOND actually is but I would honestly need about 3000 words. In short it is an antiquated means of quadruple insuring that proper duty and tax is paid on our whiskey if it is stolen. We are liable for the duty on our product should someone steal it because the Revenue considers it out there on the open market and thus Duty needs to be paid, hence SKYNET…. Death and Taxes folks, Death and Taxes…..
Remember we have the highest rates of Duty on Irish Whiskey in the world, so it is no small monetary number. Alarmingly should there be a fire and all the whiskey disappears up to heaven, I could be held liable also for the duty on that, for that however I need a separate insurance policy also. Effectively I have 3 insurance policies and a BOND and I have to go to Dublin to perform a bloodletting ceremony probably and sell my soul to the bond dealers and offer up my first born child most likely. Whatever, we are soooooo close to having Whiskey in the Rackhouse I can SMELL It.
Once we get our whiskey in, we will be the ONLY whiskey bonder operating on the Island of Ireland and the first one to open in probably well over 70 or 80 years. It is crazy but that’s the truth. I’ve spoken to two people this week who remember the old bonding days from back in the 1920’s and 30’s they had family members involved in the trade. Bonding used to be the main way whiskey was sold here on the Island, Jameson used to sell to bonders all the big distilleries did. That is how Tullamore DEW started out. The last bonder Mitchell & Sons who were responsible for Green Spot emptied its cellars in the early 1970’s when the Dublin Jameson distillery closed and the brand was taken over by IDL, now Pernod Ricard.
I’m really privileged to be a part of the Irish Whiskey Renaissance. The closer we get to putting whiskey in the Rackhouse, the more teary eyed I feel about being the company that brings back this once vibrant and widespread part of the Irish Whiskey trade. I look back in time for inspiration in everything that we do, because so much has been lost in the Irish Whiskey Trade over the past century. We are rediscovering and bringing back some aspects of the old way of doing things and there is something beautiful in that. A lot of these methods were crushed by Multinational Corporations because they reflected badly on the bottom line. I don’t have to worry about our market value or shareholder dividend, I’m free to put in extra effort and care into what we do without having to answer to anyone. I want to ensure that we respect Tradition but embrace change and that will be best expressed in the whiskey that we produce under bond. There may be tears (mine) the day the whiskey arrives here on the farm, you’ll forgive me dear reader if there are.