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The curious case of Daniel E. Williams

By Whisky Live Staff 16-05-2017

When it comes to Tullamore D.E.W’s initials the story is even more thrilling than the legend and the myth. The creator of Tullamore D.E.W. is a self-made man who worked his way up from a stable boy of the distillery to becoming the owner.

Nestling in the valley, under the heathery crest of the Slieve Bloom mountains, a place with great assembly, Tulach Mhor, famously known as Tullamore, Daniel E. Williams was born in 1848. Tullamore, a prosperous market town for a rich grain-growing district is known today as the core of Whiskey manufacturing industry.

Daniel E. Williams had an outstanding personality, energetic and enterprising, worked for nearly sixty years in the Tullamore distillery. Over the years, he enlarged the premises, and made substantial additions and improvements to the distillery and plant.

The distillery had been formed into B. Daly and Co. Ltd., as portion of the shares were held by Captain Daly and the remainder by the Williams family. Captain Daly was a well-known sporting character in his day, a Master of Hounds in the county and an international polo player. Captain Daly, being a good judge of character, noticed that Daniel, having worked in the distillery since he was 15 years of age and excelled in his assigned role as the distillery’s Manager, was the man to be placed in charge. In 1931 Captain Daly resigned as director of the board and the Williams family acquired all the shares in the distillery.

During Daniel’s times, the distillery produced pure pot still whiskey and used a triple distillation process, it was truly a massive and very impressive distilling operation. The 11 warehouses alone covered nearly 5 acres and contained 900,000 gallons of whiskey. The distillery even had its own coal yard and went on to employ over 100 people and the annual output was 270,000 gallons .

Daniel E. Williams gave the Distillery not only the best production facilities but also its most famous brand: his initials D.E.W. which became incorporated into the brand name and the whiskey became known as Tullamore D.E.W., along with the famous motto ‘Give Every Man his Dew’. This remarkable man carried on work in the distillery for nearly 60 years, and was still active at the time of his death in 1921. He was a noted benefactor of the poor, and his passing was mourned by all. The grandson of Daniel E. Williams, Desmond inherited his grandfather's grit and determination. He followed his innovative footsteps by revolutionising the whiskey industry and introducing Ireland's first blended whiskey, Tullamore D.E.W.

Today in Tullamore, the distillery is owned by William Grants, who made the exciting decision in 2012 to build a new modern distillery. Much remains of the old distillery, as for the whiskey will forever be embedded in lips for centuries to come.




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