Whisky Journey 2023: Tipperary Boutique Distillery Co-Founder On What Goes Into Its Grain-To-Glass Irish Whiskey

Tipperary Boutique Distillery co-founder and CEO Jennifer Nickerson shares how whiskey became a family business for her, her father, and her husband
Tipperary Boutique Distillery co-founder and CEO Jennifer Nickerson shares how whiskey became a family business

GRAZIA Singapore: Describe Tipperary Boutique Distillery in 10 words.
Jennifer Nickerson (JN):
A grain-to-glass, family-owned Irish whiskey distillery.

GRAZIA Singapore: How did your journey with whiskey begin, and what is the story behind Tipperary Boutique Distillery?
My father, Stuart Nickerson, has been working in the Scotch whisky industry for over 40 years, originally in production, and later managing prominent Scotch distilleries such as Glenfiddich, Highland Park, Balvenie and Glenglassaugh. On the other side, the family of my husband, Liam Ahern, have farmed their land for over 200 years. This farm is located in Ireland’s Golden Vale, an area of rich natural resources and named for the golden crops that cover this swathe of land each summer.

Tipperary water is famous for its quality and purity, and our climate is ideal for maturation, so by a twist of fate we had the perfect combination of resources and skills to make exceptional whiskey. In a giant leap of faith and a total career change, I left my job with KPMG in 2015 to start our distillery.

GRAZIA Singapore: What makes Tipperary Boutique Distillery unique as a whiskey distillery?
Tipperary Boutique Distillery is one of the only true grain-to-glass whiskey producers in Ireland, meaning that we grow our own barley and use it to distill our own whiskey. This gives our whiskey true provenance or terroir and you can literally taste our landscape in each glass. In April 2023 we put in solar panels and also became the first Irish distillery to be solar-powered.

GRAZIA Singapore: What would you consider to be the hallmarks of a Tipperary Boutique Distillery whiskey?
As we are a small-batch producer, each of our whiskeys is carefully considered and nurtured along in its journey from barley to whiskey—just like a baby! We taste our spirit at each stage, making choices to maximise flavour creation and encourage development of that flavour as our spirit ages. We aim to offer a wide variety of flavour profiles in our range, using a range of casks and bottling at different ages and at the most appropriate ABV. I think what differentiates Tipperary whiskey is our commitment to flavour, to experimentation, and to complexity, mouthfeel and finish.

GRAZIA Singapore: What do you hope to achieve at Whisky Journey 2023? What are some things Singaporean whiskey lovers can look forward to from Tipperary Boutique Distillery?
We hope to meet and share our family home-grown and produced whiskeys with as many Singaporean whiskey lovers as we can, in addition to listening to their opinions and preferences. We will have a variety of Single Malt Irish Whiskeys for people to taste, in addition to some more unusual spirits. We cannot wait to talk whiskey, as we love feedback!

GRAZIA Singapore: What are the ambitions of the brand?
Our ambition would be for our Single Malt Irish Whiskeys and Gins to be available to whiskey adorers in every premium bar, hotel and liquor store in Singapore.

GRAZIA Singapore: What is a recent or upcoming Tipperary Boutique Whiskey release that you are particularly excited about?
Without doubt, it would have to be our Home Grown Barley, which was the first Single Malt to be grown and produced entirely from our land.