Irish Distillers appoints new master distiller

10 June, 2020

Kevin O’Gorman will take over as master distiller at Jameson producer Irish Distillers after Brian Nation decided to move to a startup in the US.

Cork native O’Gorman has worked at the firm’s Middleton Distillery since 1998. He first worked as a distiller under Barry Crockett and then took over as master of maturation in 2007.

He has spent much of his time travelling the world in search of high-quality casks from renowned cooperages, while overseeing the maturation process for Jameson, Redbreast, Powers, Midleton Very Rare, Spot and other brands.

Now he has been handed the top job following Nation’s decision to move to the US.

Conor McQuaid, chairman and chief executive at Irish Distillers, said: “Kevin’s exceptional leadership and talent as master of maturation has impressed the whiskey world ever since he took on the role in 2007. We know that he will continue to impress as master distiller, an evolved role which will see him lead both distillation and maturation at Irish Distillers.”

O’Gorman added: “Since starting my career in Irish Distillers in 1998, I have been lucky to learn from masters like Barry Crockett and Brendan Monks about the intricacies of the whiskey production, from grain to glass.

“Of course, Brian Nation and I have also worked very closely together on distillation and maturation for the past 10 years and he will be missed by all his friends at Midleton Distillery.

“I am excited to use my experience to drive the sector forward by producing innovative new whiskeys that will delight whiskey fans over the coming years.” 

Nation said: “As I step down from the position of master distiller, I am struck by what an incredible honour it has been to hold this role. I have been fortunate to work with a fantastic team at Midleton for the past 23 years and have experienced enormous change, development, and innovation, from the recent expansion of our distillery to the development of new distillate styles in the micro-distillery.

“I am delighted to see Kevin take on the role of master distiller. I know that, under his leadership, the quality and reputation of Irish Distillers’ portfolio will continue to flourish long into the future.”

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