Eric Ryan: Cork’s Whiskey Walker & Talker
This week I caught up with Eric Ryan – a man with a remarkable range of experience, knowledge and historical interest in whiskey and especially whiskey from Cork in the south of Ireland, where we’re both from.
Eric is a founding member of the Cork Whiskey Society, founder and host of the Cork Whiskey Walk, which I was lucky enough to join Eric for last year, and he applies his brewing and distilling knowledge working at the Midleton Distillery.
While the county of Cork may be most well known in the whiskey world as the home of the Midleton distillery, where Jameson, Redbreast, Powers and myriad other spirits are produced, there are hundreds of years of ups and downs, fortunes made and fortunes lost, amalgamations and consolidations that have led us to the present whiskey landscape in Ireland and Cork has been right at the centre of it for more than 400 years.
This history of Cork and the history of Cork whiskey are one and the same and they make for fascinating stories.
Eric and I could have chatted for days, such are the number of stories he has and the number of rabbit holes we could have gone down, but we managed to keep the conversation to a reasonable time while covering the essentials. Cork pride shines through in this episode.