New Industry Recognition For Helen Mulholland Of Bushmills

The outstanding contribution of Helen Mulholland, Master Blender at Old Bushmills, has been recognised in an important industry award from Drinks Ireland and the Irish Whiskey Association.

She has gained the Chairman’s Award in a special virtual ceremony held recently in Dublin and was among six to be described as “legends of Irish whiskey”.

Drinks Ireland is the representative association for the Irish whiskey industry. The association’s Chairman’s Awards take place biennially and were awarded this year by outgoing Chairman David Stapleton, founder of The Connacht Whiskey Company.

The awards recognise the people, distilleries and industry partners that have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Irish whiskey industry and category.

David Stapleton said: “I am honoured to present the Chairman’s Awards to such a talented and tenacious group of people who have contributed significantly to the revival of the Irish whiskey industry. The awardees represent the dynamism and ingenuity which is central to our industry.”

Noel Sweeney, Master Distiller, Powerscourt Distillery, said: “Since I started in the industry, Irish whiskey has been turned on its head. As a Master Distiller, I am proud to be part of an innovative wave that moved Irish whiskey beyond just triple distilled, non-peated expressions. We have since seen a rapid and exciting increase in new releases of interesting, high quality Irish whiskey, with much more to follow. Our industry is one of great resilience, ingenuity confidence, and creativity, and I look forward to a bright future for Irish whiskey.”

Mr Stapleton added: “2020 has been a tough year for everyone – including the Irish whiskey industry. However, the industry has proven itself to be resilient in the past – and will do so again. After decades of decline in the 20th century, we have experienced a remarkable recovery. I am confident we will bounce back and see Irish whiskey distilleries across the country grow from strength to strength in 2021.”

Helen Mulholland has been working at Bushmills for almost 30 years and has shaped a series of successful whiskeys in the distillery’s impressive luxury portfolio of single malts and premium blends during her time as Master Blender through her careful selection of casks that produce different flavour profiles and aromas. She’s skilfully created original and winning recipes from the traditional ingredients of water, malted barley and yeast, lovingly and skilfully distilled and matured over the years at Bushmills.

This expertise and remarkable track record led to Helen being justifiably named by the influential Whisky Magazine as the first woman in its Hall of Fame, in 2018.

A longstanding focus on innovation and quality have led to Bushmills become among Northern Ireland’s leading exporters and most revered global brands.

“Creating new products has become vitally important because of the growing popularity, particularly in the US, of Irish whiskey and the emergence of a raft of smaller distilleries throughout the island. Irish whiskey is now the fastest growing brown spirit. We are determined to play our part in ensuring its continuing growth. Bushmills is a premium Irish whiskey and we aim to maintain that standing and to produce something that anyone can enjoy,” she says.

“Exploring different cask formulations, different woods, and new recipes every day makes Bushmills a hugely exciting place to be at the moment,” she adds. She recently introduced the acclaimed Causeway Collection from Bushmills.