Bushmills' Helen Mulholland recognised as "legend of Irish whiskey"

Helen Mulholland, master blender at Bushmills Irish Whiskey, has been recognised by Drinks Ireland | Irish Whiskey Association for her outstanding contribution to the development of the Irish whiskey industry.

Drinks Ireland | Irish Whiskey Association is the representative association for the Irish whiskey industry. The Association’s Chairman’s Awards recognise the people, distilleries and industry partners that have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Irish whiskey industry and category. This is the first time a women has been awarded a Chairman’s Awards.

Known for her passion for innovation, Mulholland has overseen a number of new product launches during her time at The Old Bushmills Distillery, the world’s oldest licenced whiskey distillery, including The Steamship Collection, the brand’s first global travel retail exclusive range.

Most recently, Bushmills Irish Whiskey has launched The Causeway Collection, a new series of extremely rare and unique cask finished single malt whiskeys from The Old Bushmills Distillery which has been inspired by the natural wonder of the Giant’s Causeway.

In her more than 25 years at Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Mulholland has blazed a trail for women in the industry.

She said: “I am delighted to accept the Chairman’s Award from the Irish Whiskey Association and honoured to be among so many titans in our industry. I have truly enjoyed my 25 plus years at The Old Bushmills Distillery, and I look forward to many more. I often say I have one of the best jobs in the world and it is an honour to see my work recognised in this way.

“Since I started at the distillery, my passion has been to develop new whiskeys and experiment with different casks and flavours. There’s nothing better than introducing a new Irish whiskey to the market and that is why I am so excited about the new Causeway Collection. The whiskeys in this Collection, all non chill-filtered and some of the first cask strength whiskeys to be released by us in over 15 years, are among Bushmills’ greatest treasures. We can’t wait to share them with the world. With these new exclusive releases, we celebrate our passion for single malt, showcase our rare and unique casks, and honour our 400-year heritage.

“Throughout my time in the industry, global volumes of Irish whiskey have increased sevenfold and the number of distilleries on the island of Ireland has grown from three to more than thirty!  I could not feel more privileged to be in involved in such an unprecedented transformation.”

Mulholland and five other individuals were honoured for their outstanding contributions to the Irish whiskey industry on Thursday evening at the virtual Chairman’s Awards ceremony.

David Stapleton, Chairman of Drinks Ireland | Irish Whiskey Association, 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.

“I am also delighted that this year marks the first time a woman will receive a Chairman’s Award, which is reflective of the growing number of women working in the industry.”

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