Bernard Walsh, the co-founder of Walsh Whiskey, has been inducted into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame in honor of his contribution to the whiskey industry. The gala dinner was held in London, and Bernard Walsh became the third Irish whiskey founder to be recognized with this prestigious award.
The Hall of Fame is reserved for individuals who have served at least 25 years in the industry and have made a significant contribution to the world of whiskey. Bernard Walsh’s contributions to the global renaissance of Irish whiskey have been immense, and he has played a pivotal role in creating two award-winning whiskey portfolios: The Irishman and Writers’ Tears.
In his early days, Bernard Walsh created an innovative Irish Coffee liqueur called The Hot Irishman. He then went on to create The Irishman and Writers’ Tears super-premium Irish whiskeys. Today, these portfolios offer a wide range of expressions in both the Pot Still (Writers’ Tears) and Single Malt (The Irishman) genres, comprising a portfolio of 23 super-premium whiskeys sold in over 50 countries worldwide.
Bernard Walsh is known for his experimental approach to cask finishing, which has seen him travel the globe in search of unique casks that will layer both flavor and complexity on his chosen distillate. Pushing the boundaries of traditional cask selection, Bernard Walsh oversaw the creation of the first-ever Icewine cask finished Irish whiskey in 2021.
Bernard Walsh is a founding member of the Irish Whiskey Association and served as the Chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association between 2014-2016. He was also invited to serve as a board director of Drinks Ireland, the representative organization for alcoholic drinks manufacturers and suppliers in Ireland.
One of Bernard’s proudest accomplishments was designing, building, and operating one of Ireland’s largest independent whiskey distilleries (at Royal Oak) between 2013-2019. A unique feature of the distillery is its production of all three forms of Irish whiskey (Pot Still, Malt and Grain) under the one roof and in the same distilling room.
In November 2021, Bernard Walsh completed the sale of Walsh Whiskey to the rapidly-growing spirits company Amber Beverage Group. Despite this, Bernard Walsh continues in his role as Managing Director and focuses his time and energy on developing an extensive portfolio of innovations for both brands while driving the whiskey division’s growth ambitions.
In his acceptance speech, Bernard Walsh expressed his gratitude and accepted the award on behalf of everyone he has worked with, especially his wife Rosemary. Bernard and Rosemary live with their four daughters in the beautiful County of Carlow in Ireland.
Overall, Bernard Walsh’s induction into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame is a testament to his outstanding contributions to the whiskey industry. His innovative approach to cask finishing, leadership in industry organizations, and extensive portfolio of award-winning whiskeys have helped to cement Ireland’s position as a leading producer of whiskey on the world stage.