Thursday, November 23, 2023


Irish Distillers, has today announced the appointment of Dave McCabe as its new Master Blender.

Dave McCabe takes over from Billy Leighton, who following his 47 year career at Irish Distillers has been appointed Master Blender Emeritus, and will continue to support the company’s portfolio of whiskey brands.

Billy Leighton and Dave McCabe

As blender, Dave has spent several years working closely with Billy, gaining experience, knowledge and an in depth understanding into the art of blending. Dave joined the business in 2010 and held several roles, including Irish Whiskey Academy Tutor, International Whiskey Ambassador and Process Technologist, before being appointed Blender in 2018.

Commenting on the news, Billy Leighton, said: “I have spent most of my working life at Irish Distillers, and I am truly grateful for the opportunities my job and this business has afforded me. While I will be stepping down from the Master Blender role, I will not be stepping away from the business and I look forward to embracing my Master Blender Emeritus role, working with brand teams on special launches. I would like to take this time to wish a much-respected colleague and friend, Dave McCabe, the very best as he takes the Master Blender baton and I look forward to continuing to work with him. Dave and I have worked closely together for years and really enjoy our collaborations.  I’ve seen first-hand his passion, expertise and knowledge that will ensure he is a fantastic Master Blender. Our whiskeys are in great hands.”

Dave McCabe, said: “I feel both excited and privileged to be appointed Master Blender in Irish Distillers, following in the footsteps of a true Master. I would like to thank Billy for all that he has contributed to my professional development, he has been an exceptional colleague, mentor, and friend. I truly learned from the best. I am incredibly honoured to take up this role and I am excited for the future ensuring the quality and reputation of Irish Distillers’ portfolio.”

The Irish Distillers whiskey portfolio is comprised of brands including Jameson, Redbreast, Midelton Very Rare, Spot, Method and Madness, Powers and Knappogue Castle.

Posted by Steve Rush