John McDougall: Irish Whiskey Expert… How Cool Is That?


First, let’s clarify that John McDougall has over 48 years in the whisky industry. (We can’t say Irish whiskey because he’s actually lauded more frequently as a Scotch whisky expert.) The tally is actually 58 years if you count his childhood growing up on a grain and barley farm.

Second, in our book, any job where you get to put Whisky (or Whiskey)

Expert on your business card seems like a really awesome career. So, let’s not overlook the fact that John has built his way up, successfully, through the ranks for years.

Here’s what we know:

  • John is one of the only Scotch whisky experts to ever distill in every region of Scotland.
  • Single malts from three of his distilleries are international top-sellers. Will his Irish whiskey be next?
  • John has worked at over 30 distilleries in his career. (That’s a lot of sipping, isn’t it?)
  • He’s not just a consultant on flavor profiles; he assists in the merchanting of Irish whiskey (i.e. the selling, casking, purchasing, distillery book of business,etc.)
  • John has his hands in three new-build distilleries in Europe, and one in the U.S. (Yup, one is a brand new Irish whiskey distillery, Dingle Distillery.)
  • For a time, John had two of his own brands, Whiskey Life Series (which has since been phased out) and John McDougall’s selection, which is ongoing.

Now, you can easily compile all this information into one simple fact; John McDougall is one cool dude. He’s got a savvy business sense as well as the ability to understand the complex science behind making a great Irish whiskey. From choosing the grains to assessing the complex flavors of the whiskey profile, he’s very distinguished in his field.

And that’s exactly why he was brought on as a consultant for Dingle Distillery, which opened in November 2012. While he specializes in whiskey, he’ll also contribute to the distillation of gin and vodka which will be generating revenue for the company until the Irish whiskey is ready in about five years (it has to age.)

We’re also wondering what happens to the Irish whiskey if John finally decides to retire before the batch is ready? Can we have a go at putting Irish Whiskey Expert Tasters on our business cards? Please?

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