FreeWorld Brands introduces four Irish drinks brands to travel retail

FreeWorld Brands, a new distribution and brand management agency set up by experienced drinks executive Sean McNaughten, is set to introduce four innovative brands into travel retail.

The agency will highlight Irish brands Blood Monkey gin, Grace O’Malley whiskey, Two Shores rum and Kinsale gin and whiskeys at next week’s IAADFS Summit of the Americas in West Palm Beach, Florida (Stand #900).

McNaughten, who is based in Dublin, Ireland, founded FreeWorld Brands late last year with the aim of developing internationally focused brands in travel retail. His 25 years’ experience in the drinks industry includes over 12 years with Heineken where he was Director Europe Export & Global Duty Free.

“I believe there is a market for new brands that are different; brands that have a story to tell the new travelling consumers who want more than just a spirit or wine,” McNaughten said.

“Travel retail needs more brands and products that shoppers can relate to and will not find easily elsewhere, like a rum or whiskey finished in a different way, or a gift pack for family and friends.

“I have been pleased the positive support that I have had from people within duty free industry already to the FreeWorld Brands offer and the brands that have come on board. I am discussing with a number of others about expanding the portfolio.

“I am also in the recruitment mode with a view to having at least two new team members within the next 12 months,” McNaughten added.

Leading the FreeWorld Brands’ brand line-up at next week’s event is Irish craft gin Blood Monkey. In the increasingly competitive craft gin market, Blood Monkey claims to “cut the bull, when everyone else is full of it”.

Its name and signature drill bit design are a nod to the act of ‘bleeding the money’ when 17th century sailors drilled into the officers’ barrel to steal the liquor inside.

Blood Monkey is Origin Green credited and presented in a 100% recyclable bottle which is made of 50-60% recycled glass. Paint used to blacken the bottle, and the white and copper paint used for the text and logo, is vegetable based and non-toxic. 84% of its compostable packaging is made from recycled material.

Dubbed the “queen of Irish whiskey”, Grace O’Malley takes its name from a famous Irish woman who forged a career in seafaring and piracy; a fierce leader at sea, a clan leader and a shrewd politician on land. It is the first Irish whiskey to be named after a woman.

The brand is owned by Irish businessman Stephen Cope, who has collaborated with German brand builders and investors Stefan Hansen and Fritz Hendrick Melle of Private Pier. Grace O’Malley whiskey has a presence in domestic and over 20 international markets and holds large independent stocks of Irish whiskey.

Grace O’Malley blends double distilled and triple distilled single malt and grain whiskeys. Each batch is matured in French Oak, rum and American bourbon casks to “push the boundaries of flavour” and balance fruitiness, complexity and smoothness.

The Grace O’Malley line-up includes the hero product Grace O’Malley Blended, Rum Cask and Dark Char Cask Irish whiskeys and a limited-edition range of 18 to 20 Year Old single malts finished in casks selected by Master Blender Paul Caris.

The Kinsale Spirit Co. is said to characterise “what is best about Kinsale, one of Ireland’s most vibrant and beautiful coastal towns”. The working port is renowned for its food, drink and active leisure pursuits.

The brand was founded by Tom O’Riordan, who recruited his sister Clodagh, a qualified distiller, to assist in the development of Kinsale Gin, along with two local food and beverage entrepreneurs, Ernest Cantillon and Colin Ross. First sales were in mid-2017, with the 100,000th bottle sold early in 2021.

The brand’s line-up now includes Kinsale and SummerCove Kinsale Gin, Red Earl Blended, Great Earl Single Grain and Spanish Earl Single Malt and Wild Atlantic Irish whiskeys in two barrel finishes, IPA and Rechar. A global travel retail exclusive Flight of the Earls Single Malt will be released shortly.

Two Shores rum is made from sustainably sourced eight-year-old rum distilled in Panama and finished for a minimum of six months on Ireland’s West Coast in aged Irish whiskey casks. Expressions include Irish Single Malt, Amarone Cask, Oloroso Sherry Cask and Cask Strength Peated Cask.

FreeWorld Brands will also participate in the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition in Singapore on 7-11 May. Contact Sean McNaughten at sean@freeworldbrands.com 

ℹ️ The original article by Colleen Morgan can be found here.

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