Protecting Irish Whiskey

Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey has a global protection strategy in place to protect the authenticity, integrity and high standards of the Irish Whiskey category. This involves securing the strongest legal protection for the category in order to protect producers from unfair competition and to ensure consumer protection. Ensuring that Irish Whiskey is protected from unfair competition is not just about IP protection, it is also about protecting cultural heritage and employment in rural areas, where most of the industry’s distilleries are located.

Irish Whiskey is currently protected in over 50 markets and the work of the Association in taking action now to secure such protection is vital as the industry expands as failure to act will cause difficulties in protecting Irish Whiskey in the future. Registrations have been achieved in India, South Africa, Australia, Taiwan and Belarus with many more applications pending. These achievements greatly enhance the Association’s ability to defend the industry against imitation products, which threaten the integrity of Irish Whiskey and the reputation it has built up over many years. It also provides consumers with greater confidence in the quality and authenticity of Irish whiskey.

The European Union has also greatly helped to extend recognition for Irish Whiskey as a GI by seeking protection for EU GIs in bilateral treaties and other agreements with third countries. The Association has continuous engagement with the EU Commission, Irish & UK Governments to ensure inclusion of Irish whiskey GI protection in all agreements.


What to do if you come across potentially misleading products?
If you come across a product which you feel may be misleadingly marketed as Irish whiskey, or you have any other concerns about the marketing of whiskeys or whiskey-based spirits, please contact us at:

In the first instance please provide the Association with:

  • The name of the brand.
  • The wording on the label.
  • The names of any companies identified on the labels.
  • The name and address of the outlet where the product is being sold.
  • Photographs of the display (with date photographs were taken).