Michael Flatley on his new whiskey: ‘named after my father and my father’s father and his father before him’

The former Riverdance maestro created the five-year-old whiskey with hugely experienced master blender Noel Sweeney

Former Riverdance star and film-maker Michael Flatley has stressed the personal and emotional significance of his first whiskey venture, which he launched at the Mansion House in Dublin on Monday evening. “This is not a celebrity-endorsed product that somebody else made,” he said. “This is my company, I started this myself, I finance it, I own this company and it means a lot to me.”

For the project, Flatley put together a team that includes hugely experienced master blender Noel Sweeney. The five-year-old whiskey, called The Dreamer, was distilled, and matured at Great Northern Distillery in Dundalk.

“Obviously, I am excited; this is the first venture into whiskey, but I’ve been at it a long time. When I first bought Castlehyde [Flatley’s manor estate in Co Cork] in 1999, the house was derelict, but one of the first things I did was bring in whiskey barrels because I wanted to make an Irish whiskey room for my father.” He recalls Flatley snr would have a glass of Irish whiskey every evening when he came home from work.

“While it bears my name and I’m so proud of that, this whiskey is named after my father and my father’s father and his father before him and please God it will be passed on to my son and his children in the future if everything goes well.”

READ MORE

“I approached this exactly the way I would approach my dance shows. The first step was to put together a great team of people. We went straight up to Great Northern distillery. I’m an awful perfectionist and I would have driven Noel nuts changing [it] and changing it. But I feel that, at the end, we were all very happy with the final result. We shook hands and so we’re both going to sign those bottles, and that meant the world to me.”

As for the whiskey, it is smooth, harmonious and rich with notes of milk chocolate, raisins and vanilla. The finish is rounded and lingers nicely.

The Dreamer is available from SuperValu for €45, and online at Flatleywhiskey.com.