Every brand has a story to tell. Irish whiskey brand Tullamore D.E.W.’s story begins in the town of Tullamore, Ireland. Before the whiskey label’s 1829 founding, the town of Tullamore was destroyed by a fire in 1785. From the ashes of this devastation, the town rebuilt itself and then added a phoenix — a mythical bird that erupts in flames at its death and then is reborn from its own ashes — to its coat of arms to commemorate its resilience and optimism.
In line with this bit of Irish history and folklore, the brand named its newest limited-edition whiskey blend Phoenix. The 55 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) whiskey is a blend of grain, malt and pot-still whiskeys and is finished for two years in a sherry cask.
The new whiskey’s name also ties into an important event in Tullamore D.E.W.’s modern-day history. William Grant & Sons, the parent company of Tullamore D.E.W., currently is building a new distillery in Tullamore that is scheduled to open in autumn 2014. This reincarnation will bring whiskey production back to the town 60 years after the original distillery closed in 1954.
But this isn’t the only significant timing element in this story. The brand also chose to coordinate its national launch with the 142nd anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire in October. As part of this launch, the brand invited local media and beverage industry trade representatives on a trolley tour of Great Chicago Fire sites in downtown Chicago, including the fire’s believed origination site, which now is the Chicago Fire Academy. Along the way, Brand Ambassador Tim Herlihy drew parallels between the Great Chicago Fire story, Tullamore’s story, and elements of the brand’s latest whiskey. Drawing on history, Phoenix commemorates these historic events and marks the beginning of a new era of Irish whiskey.