Master distiller & master blender
Born in County Mayo, Ireland, Noel Sweeney qualified in analytical chemistry and total quality management before joining the Cooley Distillery as quality control manager in 1989. Previously, Noel worked in the production of food flavours, beverages, and industrial alcohol.
Having learned his trade from old masters, Noel’s passion for excellence and quality quickly propelled him to the position of master blender and chief distiller at Cooley (now Beam Suntory) where, throughout a 27-year career, he helped to invigorate and spearhead a revival of Irish whiskey. The award-winning Kilbeggan 15 Years Old, The Greenore 15 Years Old, The Connemara Peated Single Malt, Tyrconnell Madeira, Port, and Sherry finishes were all developed and released under Noel’s watchful eye and uniquely discerning palate. Over many years of careful craftsmanship, he has developed a worldwide reputation for dedication, passion for the liquid and determination for the highest quality of whiskeys, always.
Noel is a founding member of the Irish Whiskey Association, a member of the Irish Spirits Association and a central contributor to the technical committee responsible for the development of the Geographical Indication Technical File for Irish whiskey. A keen traveller and international figure, Noel has led numerous masterclasses across the globe and regularly features on TV, online and in printed media.
In 2017, Noel joined Powerscourt Distillery in County Wicklow, Ireland. Once again fulfilling the role of master blender and master distiller, he holds responsibility for all liquid and production processes. Noel brings tremendous skill and experience to the Powerscourt Distillery, something that will ensure constant innovation, not to mention the delivery of new, exciting and premium expressions under the Powerscourt brands.