In her new role, Deirdre will work with Master Blender Billy Leighton and will be responsible for the development of new and existing blends, marrying together specific and intricate flavours and aromas, ultimately creating a palette of tastes that make up Irish Distillers’ portfolio of Irish whiskeys. She’ll also be responsible for the management of stock including cask profile and age profile as well as laying down stock for future generations.
Deirdre holds a degree in Food Science and Technology from University College Cork and a diploma in Distilling from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.
She joined Irish Distillers in 2012 as part of the first year of the Jameson Engineering Programme. During the two-year programme Deirdre gained a solid foundation in the whiskey-making process and upon completion was appointed as a Process Technologist. In this role Deirdre was part of the team involved the commissioning of the new pot stills in the Garden Stillhouse and the new columns in the Midleton Distillery expansion project. Most recently, she served as Bond Supervisor.
There are over 1.7 million casks maturing in Midleton. As Bond Supervisor, Deirdre helped oversee the filling and emptying of these casks with a wider team of 61 people over a split shift.
“In simple terms, four simple ingredients can make an array of whiskeys: water, yeast, cereal and wooden casks,” commented Deirdre, “However, it is the sensory aspect balancing the flavours, is what defines the taste.”