WhiskyFest San Francisco Speaker Colum Egan
Old Bushmills Distillery
Colum Egan, Master Distiller at “Old Bushmills” Distillery in Co. Antrim, was born in Portarlington, Co. Laois, in the heart of Ireland’s barley-growing country. Colum inspired confidence in Irish Distillers, and over his 6 years in the company his technical abilities were evident. These are combined with the passion, enthusiasm and energy which he now brings to the distillation of the malt whiskey produced at “Old Bushmills”.
His studies took him to the University of Limerick where he graduated in production management. His working experiences seemed to draw him closer and closer to whiskey making – from cereal food, to beer, to malt whiskey. At Nestlé-General Mills, he was involved with the production of branded foods including breakfast cereals. From there, he moved into the drinks business, first on bottling beers with Anheuser-Busch in London and onwards to Irish Distillers in Dublin to the bottling of Irish whiskeys. It was here, at the vatting and blending stage of the whiskeys prior to bottling, that Colum developed his “nose” and his interest in the distillation and maturation of the whiskeys.
Now at the distillery in “Old Bushmills”, Colum is fascinated by malt whiskey production and the magic of the triple distillation process. He thoroughly enjoys the variety of day to day work at the distillery, and always gets a buzz from listening to the delight of the visitors as they taste Bushmills’ malt whiskeys.
Colum is married to Clare, a native of Ballycastle near the Distillery and they have two sons.