John Quinn: Tullamore Legend & Irish Whiskey Icon
It’s hard to imagine what the Irish whiskey landscape must have felt like in the early 1970s – Jameson and Powers – the two legendary distilling names in Dublin were winding down their established distillery operations and getting ready to close their Dublin doors for good. Cork Distilleries Company’s Midleton distillery was in the midst of a massive expansion to bring online what became known as New Midleton – the distillery that would for more than a decade be the consolidated home of all Irish whiskey production in the republic of Ireland.
What a cataclysmic change that must have been for those working for the individual whiskey companies prior to the merger. Right in the middle of these changes, a young man joined the newly merged companies, getting his start in the whiskey business. 46 years later, John Quinn is not only still involved in Irish whiskey, he has, through years of flying the Irish flag overseas and at home, helped establish Irish whiskey in global markets.
Today John serves as global brand ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W., one of the most recognized brands in Irish whiskey, a company he has played a role in growing since his early days with Irish Distillers. In 2016, John was named Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the year by Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky Awards, and in December 2018 he was appointed as Vice Chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association.
In 2019, John became the first Irish whiskey global ambassador to be inducted into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame. He is a legend of Irish whiskey and the hundreds of brand ambassadors that preach the Irish whiskey gospel around the world stand on his shoulders. He was there as Irish whiskey battled for survival. He’s there today in the midst of growth that could never have been imagined in the 1970s. We can all learn from his perspective and experience.
I hope you enjoy our chat. A kinder, more genuine, passionate, knowledgeable gentleman you won’t find in the world of whiskey.