Barry Walsh: 1940-2016

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.


Mark Gillespie

I'm the host and executive producer of WhiskyCast.

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