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Irish Spring

Washing away the stereotype of the elderly drinker, Riannon Walsh's old-style whiskey cleans up with Gen Xers.

This story appears in the May 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Riannon Walsh knows better than to buy into the stereotype ofyour "typical" single malt whiskey enthusiast.Today's connoisseurs aren't limited to the oldergeneration. No, she insists, they're more along the lines ofyoung professionals and Gen Xers seeking sophistication in theirdrink of choice. And Walsh should know: She's got a handle onthe whiskey business, not only because she's founder ofCloonaughill Distillers Ltd., a start-up in Galway, Ireland, thatwill export Irish liquor to the United States in the next 18months, but also because this 38-year-old coordinates yearlywhiskey tasting expos in major U.S. cities via her Philadelphiabusiness, Cloonaughill Celtic Malts Inc.

Entrepreneur: You market your whiskey to the younger crowd.Why?

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