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US distillery appoints Brian Nation master distiller

O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company, which is set to open its distillery in Minneapolis next summer, has named Brian Nation as its master distiller.

Brian Nation was master distiller for Jameson maker Irish Distillers for seven years

The news follows yesterday’s (10 June) announcement by Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers arm that Nation will leave Midleton Distillery after 23 years for a US start-up distillery. The firm’s master of maturation, Kevin O’Gorman, has taken over Nation’s position as master distiller. Irish Distillers is known for producing Irish whiskey brands such as Jameson and Redbreast.

In his new position, Nation will be responsible for creating “world-class whiskeys that will bring the O’Shaughnessy spirit to the US and around the world”.

“I have gained years of distilling experience with some of the best names in the industry and am very grateful for that; but joining the O’Shaughnessy family to build this new brand is the opportunity and adventure of a lifetime for me and my family,” said Nation. “I look forward to melding my Irish lineage with a new American experience and crafting a unique collection of whiskeys that people can share and experience together.”

O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company is the brainchild of cousins Patrick and Michael O’Shaughnessy who are seeking to honour their family’s Irish-American heritage. The O’Shaughnessy family left their home in Ireland during the Great Famine in 1847.

Patrick and Michael O’Shaughnessy will take inspiration from the “long-standing tradition” of Irish whiskey to build a new craft spirits venture in the US, which will focus on “innovative whiskey offerings”.

O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company hopes to open its Minneapolis site and unveil its first spirits in summer 2021.

“O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company was created to bring our family together in a collaborative enterprise filled with creativity, passion and celebration,” said co-founder Michael O’Shaughnessy. “We found that Brian holds these same values and we knew he would be the perfect addition to our family business.”

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