Grocery chain to carry Co. Down producer’s rum in all Northern Ireland stores

Co. Down-based spirits company, The Copeland Distillery, has announced it has secured a new listing for its flagship rum with Sainsbury’s stores across Northern Ireland. The Distillery released its first rum bottling, Smugglers’ Reserve, last October amid the pandemic. Today’s announcement demonstrates on-going retailer demand for its growing range of innovative spirits.

Founder of The Copeland Distillery, Gareth Irvine, said: “Rum can be a tricky spirit to get right but this listing underpins how skilful our team is and how innovative our products are. There are very few Irish rums on the market and whilst we compete with the category’s global leaders, our listing with Sainsbury’s shows that our rum offers something different.

“Just like the brave and determined smugglers who inspired our rum, we’re excited to bring Smugglers’ Reserve to Sainsbury’s customers here in Northern Ireland. This new listing will increase brand visibility and accessibility and allow us to share the history and heritage of Donaghadee as a coastal community with a wider audience.”

Smugglers’ Reserve shares the powerful story of Co. Down’s coastal heritage. It is inspired by clandestine smuggling activities that took place along the Copeland Islands and the harbour town of Donaghadee throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and honours the contrabandists that bravely brought tastes of new worlds to these shores.

With fulfilling notes of sweet spice and warming ginger perfectly paired with piquant flavours such as banana and coconut, this luxurious Irish Rum is the result of a skilful blend of Copeland’s own heavy pot-still rum and a Barbados rum, casked in a mixture of Kentucky bourbon and Pinot Noir barrels.

It is created, matured and bottled at The Copeland Distillery in Donaghadee, Co. Down, where the company also distills its popular range of gin, and a range of pot-still and malt whiskeys which are due for release from 2024. Founder Gareth Irvine oversees all elements of distillation and casking.

Gareth said: “ As cocktail culture continues to grow year-on-year, the rum category is primed for a huge comeback this summer with classics like the Mai Tai, Pina Colada and Mojitos all offering consumers a taste of far-off places, despite most of us choosing to holiday at home this year. Smugglers’ Reserve is a stunning liquid that is robust enough for both at-home cocktail lovers and professionals to experiment with.

“We have focused on developing our range to include rum and whiskey, along with gin, since we transformed a once abandoned cinema into what is now our Distillery here in Donaghadee. As we prepare to celebrate five years in business, we can also celebrate unit sales of more than 75,000 in 2021. Our commitment to innovation, represented by our varied range, has supported our growth across Europe and Australia and as we look towards new markets such as the USA and China, we will remain committed to unique flavours and reinvigorating the forgotten stories of the Donaghadee coastline.”

Smugglers’ Reserve (RRP £30) is available at Sainsbury’s stores nationwide. For more information on The Copeland Distillery visit or @copelanddistillery on social media.

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