Tom Jago, the drinks executive best known for facilitating the development of what became Baileys Irish Cream, died on October 12th. He was 93.
Jago began his career in International Distillers & Vintners (IDV – which eventually became part of Diageo upon its formation in 1997), where he was head of product development. He called for the development of a new product that married Red Breast whiskey with Express Dairies cream. The resulting liqueur was marketed as Baileys Irish Cream which is today’s 13th largest spirits brand.
During his time at IDV, he also came across a little known South African coconut rum brand called Coco Rico, and renamed it Malibu. As well, he was responsible for Piat d’Or, the UK’s most sccessful premium branded wine during the 70s and 80s.
Jago later moved to Hennessy and then to United Distillers, and finally in 2008 he helped found The Last Drop, a spirits negoçiant that acquired and sold allocations of rare, upscale spirits. In 2016 it was sold to Sazerac.
In a statement, The Last Drop said: “It is with profound and heartfelt sadness that we announce the death of our co-founder and inspirational president, Tom Jago, aged 93. Beloved by us all, we give thanks for his brilliance, his incisive humour and, above all, his deep affection for the team and the industry he so loved. Rest in peace, Tom.”