News from Midleton: Kevin O’Gorman appointed Master Distiller

Kevin O’Gorman follows Brian Nation

Kevin O’Gorman, new Master Distiller of Midleton Distillery


Irish Distillers announces news concerning a key position at Midleton Distillery: Kevin O'Gorman succeeds Brian Nation as a master distiller; Nation leaves to work for a startup distillery in the US.

The new Midleton master distiller has been working for the distillery for a long time: in 1998 O’Gorman, born in Cork, started his career at Midleton as a distiller under the tutelage of then Master Distiller Barry Crockett. O’Gorman brought a technical degree from the University of Limerick and a diploma as a distiller from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Afterwards Kevin O’Gorman switched to the maturation to learn all aspects of developing high quality whiskey and when the Master of Maturation Brendan Monks retired in 2007, he took over his position.

Responsible for distillation and maturation

Kevin O’Gorman spent a lot of time abroad establishing contacts with cooperages and bodegas and looking for high-quality casks. The focus of his work was to mature whiskey for brands such as Jameson, Redbreast, Powers, Midleton Very Rare and the Spot range. With the takeover of the new position as Master Distiller now, Kevin O'Gorman is equally responsible for distillation and maturation.

He says: “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.”

A new task in the US for the departing master distiller

Brian Nation has been a member of Irish Distillers since 1997 and has been master distiller of Midleton Distillery since 2013. For him, the change to the start-up distillery of the O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company in Minneapolis, US, marks the begin of a new chapter. As a master distiller he will accompany the distillery of the Irish descendant cousins Patrick and Michael O’Shaughnessy, which is under construction, unto its completion next year, and will then be responsible for the production of whiskey, gin, rum and liqueurs.

Saying goodbye to Midleton, he notes: “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.”

Image: Irish Distillers / Pernod Ricard