Tipperary butcher James Whelan from Clonmel wins 3-star Great Taste awards

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James Whelan butchers Clonmel wins 3 stars at Great Taste

James Whelan butchers, Clonmel, has won three stars at Great Taste

Tipperary butcher James Whelan has picked up three stars in this year's Great Taste awards in London.

The Clonmel-based butcher won for his pork lard, a natural and clear lard made from slowly rendered back fat, which, the judges said, had a “fabulous long lasting and clean pork flavour”.

Whelans of Upper Gladstone Street, Oakville Shopping Centre, will now wait with much anticipation to see if they also scoop the top awards for their region.

These final honours, including the Great Taste 2017 Supreme Champion, will be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Awards Dinner on Monday September 4 in London.

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, values taste above all else, with no regard for branding or packaging. Whether it is gin, biscuits, sausages or coffee being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1, 2 or 3 stars.

Other Irish winners were a smoked black pudding traditionally made by Hugh Maguire in Dunshaughlin, County Meath, and smoked over beechwood chippings for 45 minutes, and Ballyhack Smokehouse’s smoked salmon, which is slowly smoked over beechwood chips in a 70-year-old smoker.