As the only officially sanctioned American chapter of the Irish Whiskey Society in Ireland, our goal is to expand the awareness and appreciation of the full range of Irish Whiskey through the responsible and congenial enjoyment of Ireland’s signature spirit.
Our enjoyment of Irish whiskey is as much an exploration of whiskey as it is of Irish history, heritage, and culture. Irish whiskey evokes Irish wit, music, conversation and congeniality (the “craic”) and has a personal ancestral connection for the millions of people of Irish descent worldwide.
Once the world's best-selling spirit, Irish whiskey is experiencing a global resurgence, dubbed its "Third Golden Age," with new brands, bottlings and masterful innovation. While we focus on Irish whiskey we appreciate and explore other whiskeys/whiskys and fine spirits.
The dramatic and ongoing expansion of distilleries across Ireland is creating a boom in new whiskey brands, styles and bottlings. Irish whiskey sales in the US also have increased dramatically and are continuing to grow. Like you, we hope more people in the US will recognize the fabulous variety and quality of Irish whiskey and include many more on store and pub shelves. We can each do our part to educate and enlighten others about the complex and flavorful uisce beatha from the Emerald Isle!
Allan Dywer, President
Allan’s interest in “uisce beatha” really began during a 2007 family trip to Jameson’s Bow Street distillery in Dublin. Intrigued by the tour and tasting, further exploration into the history of Irish Whiskey while reading a book on the flight home whetted his appetite for more.
In 2010, the opportunity arose to help start the IWSA, first as an inaugural member and then as vice president through 2016. Allan also became a Dingle Distillery Founding Father in 2013 contributing to the launch of the first new, independent, purpose built distillery in over 200 years. Allan makes frequent trips to Ireland to monitor his personal, artisanal whiskey cask, golf the beautiful links courses, and sample the growing inventory of whiskies in Irish pubs. While waiting for his aging whiskey to be bottled, Allan enjoys spreading the craic as IWSA President.
Mike Horton, Vice President
Mike’s obsession with Irish Whiskey began several years ago at the kitchen table of his father-in-law, Jim Nagle. Over several drams of what would become his favorite Irish Whiskeys, he had the most revealing, honest, and sincere conversation the two had ever had with one another. In that one night, and the many that would follow, he was not only introduced to the Water of Life, but more importantly, he discovered the “craic.”
Mike has self-educated through reading, research, and tasting. Lots of tasting. He has traveled to Ireland multiple times over the years to further his knowledge through first hand interaction with distillers. But by far, his greatest influence and education came from his uncle, Richard Nagle. Richard is the founder of the IWSA, and while no longer actively involved, remains to this day Mike’s most respected mentor.
Andrew, a Dublin native, was raised in the village of Kilternan on the Dublin/Wicklow border. He recalls growing up in Ireland in those days when there were only two distilleries on the island in addition to just a handful of brands. After graduating culinary school in Dublin his journey took him around the world working in and around the wine industry in five countries.
He points his finger to Redbreast 12yo as his "gateway" whiskey and in addition to his Digital Marketing work he educates and trains those who will listen on the joys of Irish Whiskey, and its current renaissance. He lives in Napa, California and holds WSET Level 3 in Wines, WSET Level 2 in Spirits, and Irish Whiskey certifications.