Irish Distillers appoint first new cooper in 40 years

Irish Distillers appoint first new cooper in 40 years
Killian O’Mahony, the new cooper at Midleton Distillery

Irish Distillers have appointed their first new cooper in more than 40 years.

Killian O’Mahony, who comes from a long line of craftsmen, successfully completed his apprenticeship under Master Cooper Ger Buckley.

His apprenticeship saw him train for four years with Irish Distillers, with two years spent travelling to Scotland, Spain and America working on a variety of cooperage projects.

Mr O'Mahony, originally from Blarney, is the first newly qualified cooper at Midleton Distillery in 40 years. His great grandfather, Batt Ahern, worked as a blacksmith in the distillery from 1910 to the 1930s.

A cooper is trained to make and repair wooden casks.

The cooper plays an important role in the making of whiskey as the contribution from the wood has a significant effect on the aroma and flavour of the final liquid.

Irish Distillers appoint first new cooper in 40 years

Under his new role, Mr O'Mahony will be responsible for the repair and maintenance of over 1.5m casks on site in Midleton, as well as managing various coopering and cask related projects in the distillery.

"I come from a long line of craftsmen going back generations, so working with my hands is in my blood," said Mr O'Mahony.

"It has been a privilege to learn the craft of coopering around the world.

"I’m delighted to be continuing to expand my career with Irish Distillers and I look forward to continuing to work with the team in Midleton, using my craft and experience to play my part in the renaissance of Irish whiskey."

Kevin O'Gorman, Head of Maturation at Irish Distillers said: "Killian’s appointment means that the future of this age-old craft is in good hands for future generations at Midleton.

"I would like to welcome Killian into the cooperage fold, I have no doubt that he will play his part in adding exciting new chapters to the incredible story of Irish whiskey."

Midleton currently has two working cooperages with one based in the old Midleton distillery and a new cooperage located within the Spirit Store at the main distillery.

Irish Distillers, the makers of Jameson Irish Whiskey, currently employs over 600 people in Cork and Dublin.

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