Old Oak is a signature three-year-old blended whiskey, finished from a selected mixture of bourbon and new oak barrels and a five-year-old blended whiskey finished in a rum reserve barrel.
The whiskey is currently finished using a managed process in a craft distillery just outside Belfast.
Van Damme discovered Old Oak whiskey at a chance meeting with a friend and business colleague. The martial arts star was looking to partner with and co-own a whiskey brand, and he found Old Oak.
Van Damme said that the idea of being part of an Irish whiskey resonated with him, connecting with its “rich history and legacy”.
A pot still and a more exclusive, older whiskey are also being planned by the star.
Old Oak’s three- and five-year-old whiskeys are priced at £34.95 and £39.95, respectively, and available to buy online, at www.oldoakirishwhiskey.com.
‘Back To The Roots’
“I was looking for my own brand of whiskey – possibly an American bourbon – and then one of my close friends and business associates asked, ‘Why an American whiskey, when you can go back to the roots of whiskey and find an Irish whiskey?’” said Van Damme.
“He then introduced me to the Old Oak whiskey label, which had yet to be launched and had been put together by some whiskey aficionados in Ireland.”
Kevin Carson, one of the co-founders of the Old Oak label, is from Derry and said that he felt strongly that an Irish whiskey should represent and connect with the name of the county.
Carson also felt that it was important to remember the long tradition and history of whiskey-making in the north of Ireland.
“Jean-Claude embodies the very essence of our brand, with his unwavering strength, exceptional character, and unparalleled precision,” said Carson and his Old Oak co-director and co-shareholder, Ian Rowlands.
“His relentless pursuit of perfection and attention to detail make him the quintessential representation of our brand.”