The Irish whiskey distillery Cooley was sold for $95 million to an American firm, Beam INC, the world’s fourth largest spirits company.

Sales of Irish whiskey globally have soared in recent years especially in America with Jameson leading the way. Currently 4.86 million cases have been sold.

Founder of Cooley, John Teeling will make $20 million personally from the sale.

Ironically, he has never drunk his own brew.

“I’ve never tasted the stuff,” he told The Irish Times yesterday.


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He had the idea for Cooley back in 1970 and started it with $100,000 dollars.

“We bought an old alcohol plant on the Cooley peninsula that was using potatoes to make ethanol,” he stated and they added the Kilbeggan distillery in 1988.

He said he agonized over the deal.

“It was like walking your only daughter down the aisle and giving her to another man,” he explained.

Beam’s president and chief executive Matt Shattock stated the deal was a “unique and compelling high-return opportunity to enter one of the industry’s highest growth categories."

“We look forward to being good stewards of these iconic Irish assets,” he said.