Master blender, Billy Leighton encapsulates the Jameson aesthetic in a sentence, and as a leading figure within the whiskey brand’s family, he certainly has an anecdote to tell.
With almost a decade of experience as master blender behind him, Billy’s first experience harks back to his days as a trainee accountant, before being given the opportunity to move into production. Under a new title of vatting manager, Billy prepared the whiskey for bottling. As the years went by, this role grew, eventually encompassing blending, warehousing, maturation and expanding further into distilling.
An exhaustive familiarity with the Irish Distiller’s stocks means Billy now knows all the products available to him. Far from being wrapped up in a white coat and confined to the lab sniffing and tasting samples, it’s Billy’s job to manage the stock and forecast future demands. So perhaps accountancy wasn’t the most unlikely beginning for this blender after all.
The affection Billy has for his craft spills out in conversation. Catch him on the topic of the complex taste and textures of Jameson Irish Whiskey, and his thoughtful answers recall that of a man truly dedicated to the Jameson cause.