Irish Distillers appoints first new Cooper in over 40 years

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Irish Distillers, Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines, and producer of some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has today announced the appointment of Killian O’Mahony as Cooper, following the successful completion of his apprenticeship under Master Cooper, Ger Buckley. Killian is the first newly qualified Cooper at Midleton distillery in 40 years and comes from a long line of craftsmen at Midleton, dating back to his great grandfather, Batt Ahern, who worked as a blacksmith in the distillery from 1910 to the 1930s.

A Cooper is a craftsman trained to make and repair wooden casks. As the contribution from the wood has a significant effect on the aroma and flavour of the final liquid, the role of a Cooper is central to the production of Irish whiskey, the fastest growing premium spirit category in the world.  As part of his new role, Killian will be responsible for the repair and maintenance of over 1.5 million casks on site in Midleton, as well as managing various coopering and cask related projects in the distillery. Midleton currently has two working cooperages – one based in the old Midleton distillery and a new cooperage located within the Spirit Store at the main distillery.

Read more inside the latest issue of Midleton & District News.

Photo credit: Cathal Noonan.