IRENE TAN is the owner of Custom Software Inc, Canterbury Liquors and Whisky Mentors Consulting.
In her day job as she likes to call it, she has been a sought-after software consultant for almost four decades. Developing, designing and architecting software for a multitude of clients in Manufacturing, Finance, Defense and Medical industries.
Despite talk and good intentions to retire, she has created “retirement hobbies” for herself instead. Prior to purchasing her own store in Canterbury in 2019, she co-owned Brooklyn Northeast Wines and Spirits since 2013. In this short time, Irene has made the retail locations she owns into destinations for whiskey lovers from near and far. She is known for her expertise in selecting some of the best single barrels of whiskies and other spirits in the country, over 100 barrels to date, 80 of which were purchased for her Canterbury store in the first three years. However, wine was her first love and 1200 bottles of wine in her basement was what got her started in the wine and spirits retail business.
Irene has an insatiable hunger for learning and sharing her knowledge. Moderation is a word that seems to escape her mental vocabulary. Those who know her well know that she’s always 150% invested when she starts something that interests her. She started Whisky Mentors in 2018 when she realized there was so much for her to learn and learn by teaching. Prior to 2014, she really didn’t know much about whiskies and other spirits. Now, she’s has become an expert on the subject.
Irene’s sense of social responsibility has resulted in whiskey projects and events that are used to benefit her local community such as the food pantry, the volunteer fire department, the schools and the library. Other fund raising projects she’s been involved in are the Roger Williams Zoo in Rhode Island and the Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, CT.
Her hobbies (outside of her retirement hobbies) include reading, cycling, kayaking, pickleball, building garden rugs, outdoor cooking, sharing food and drink with family and friends and hanging out with her cat, Chauncey.