Midleton Distillery hires new blenderBy Nicola Carruthers
Irish Distillers has appointed Deirdre O’Carroll as blender for Midleton Distillery in County Cork.
In her new position, O’Carroll will work with master blender Billy Leighton, and will be responsible for the development of new and existing blends. She will help create a palate of tastes for Irish Distillers’ portfolio of Irish whiskeys.
In addition, O’Carroll will manage stock including cask profile and age profile, as well as laying down barrels for future generations.
“In simple terms, four simple ingredients can make an array of whiskeys; water, yeast, cereal and wooden casks,” said O’Carroll. “However, it is the sensory aspect, balancing the flavours, is what defines the taste. I look forward to channelling my knowledge and experience into my new role, while learning from Billy and the team.”
O’Carroll joined Irish Distillers in 2012 during the first year of the Jameson Engineering Graduate Programme.
Leighton said: “Deirdre was one of the first graduates to join as part of the graduate distiller programme. The programme is designed to give graduates ownership of their career aspirations, supported by practical experience and training to help them succeed and Deirdre is a shining example of what success looks like.
“In a few short years, Deirdre has risen through the ranks, proving how competent and capable she is in the roles that she has held, most recently managing a team of 13 people.”
During the two-year scheme, she established a ‘solid foundation’ in whiskey making and was eventually appointed process technologist. In this role, O’Connell helped commission new pot stills in the Garden Stillhouse and new columns as part of an expansion project at Midleton Distillery.
Her most recent role at the company was as bond supervisor, overseeing the filling and emptying of more than 1.7 million casks with a wider team of 61 people.
Irish whiskey brand Jameson recently revealed a month-long series of virtual events for St Patrick’s Day on 17 March.