August 4, 2016 – Barry Walsh, one of the leaders of the Irish Whiskey industry for many years, passed away July 30 after a battle with cancer. He served as the Chief Blender for Irish Distillers for 22 years until his retirement in 2004, and continued to work as a distillery consultant until his passing.

“He’s been an absolute gentleman and a pillar of support ever since we started,” said West Cork Distillers co-founder John O’Connell of Walsh, who teamed up with retired Springbank Master Distillery Frank McHardy to guide the Skibbereen distillery’s development of its whiskies. “He had a fantastic sense of humour, very quiet, and a very honourable man as well…a real unsung hero in the Irish Whiskey industry.”

Walsh originally joined Irish Distillers as a chemist at Midleton Distillery in 1975 and was promoted to Chief Blender in 1982. During his tenure, he was responsible for developing many of the company’s award-winning whiskies, including Midleton Very Rare and the revival of Redbreast. Upon his retirement in 2004, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Whisky Magazine.

Please join us in expressing our condolences to Barry’s wife Máire, along with his entire family.