The Masters behind the Irish Distillers Tasting Club
Irish Distillers is proud to announce the launch of the Tasting Club a masterclass in Irish whiskey.
Over the course of 6 episodes, presenter Ger Garland is joined by a host of Irish whiskey experts and today, we’re sharing their stories.
Ger Garland, Irish Whiskey Ambassador, Irish Distillers
Ger Garland joined the Irish whiskey industry nearly 17 years ago, taking on his current role as Irish Whiskey Ambassador in 2014. In 2018 he was named Irish Whiskey Ambassador of the Year at the Global Icons of Whisky Awards, recognising Ger’s passion and knowledge of all things Irish whiskey, and his ability to ignite excitement and appreciation in whiskey fans around the globe.
Dave Quinn, Master of Whiskey Science, Irish Distillers
With a background in science, Dave joined Irish Distillers just over thirty years ago in the 1980s before transferring to Bushmills in 1996, and then moving back to Midleton in 2002. During this period, Dave has held various positions including Biochemist and Process Manager at Midleton Distillery, as well as Head Distiller at the Old Bushmills Distillery. Today, Dave is responsible for group quality management, technical innovation and new product development, analytical services and whiskey planning.
Billy Leighton, Master Blender, Irish Distillers
With almost a decade of experience as Master Blender behind him, Billy is responsible for marrying together a range of notes, ages and grain types, creating a palette of tastes that combine to make up the family of Irish Distillers whiskeys. Billys first experience at a distillery was as a trainee accountant at Irish Distillers Old Bushmills Distillery, before being given the opportunity to move into production. Under a new title of Vatting Manager, Billy originally prepared the whiskey for bottling, but as time went on, this role grew, encompassing blending, warehousing, maturation and expanding further into distilling.
Brian Nation, Master Distiller, Irish Distillers
Brian joined the Irish Distillers team in December 1997, overseeing various projects in the environmental department until 2002. From here Brian moved on to train as a distiller, working under former Master Distiller Barry Crockett for 10 years, and eventually going on to win the Worshipful Company Distillers Award for achieving the highest IBD distilling exam results in the world in 2006 the first Irish distiller to receive the award. Brian oversees the production process from brewing to distillation, and holds the position of tasting all whiskeys daily, to ensure the correct flavours are present.
Katherine Condon, Distiller, Irish Distillers
Katherine joined Irish Distillers through the Graduate Distiller Programme. She then became a Distiller at The Micro Distillery at Midleton. In 2016 she was appointed Process Technologist, shortly followed by a promotion to Day Production Supervisor in 2018. Katherine is responsible for improving fermentation yields, creating new styles of spirit and commissioning new equipment.
Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation, Irish Distillers
In his role for over 10 years, Kevin is tasked with sourcing the casks used for maturing raw spirit, the smooth running of the maturation process and tending to the product as it matures in cask. Working with processes and techniques that are steeped in heritage, Kevin represents Irish Distillers as an international brand ambassador across the globe.
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