Award-winning Irish American whiskey launches in Ireland

The O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co (OSDC ), a family-owned distillery located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, recently announced distribution of Keeper’s Heart Irish American Whiskey into Ireland, the first availability for the award-winning beverage outside the United States.

Created by Cork-born whiskey icon Brian Nation, formerly master distiller for several well known Irish whiskeys including Jameson, Redbreast, and Midleton, Keeper’s Heart is a new style of whiskey, bringing together the best of Irish and American whiskey-making traditions.

After leaving Ireland in 2021 to move to America and craft Keeper’s Heart with the O’Shaughnessy family, Brian Nation is bringing this unique blend of Irish and American whiskeys home.

The O'Shaughnessy family have strong links to County Galway via company's co-owner Patrick O'Shaughnessy's paternal great great grandfather Luke O'Shaughnessy, a bootmaker from Gort who left Ireland at the end of the Famine and moved to Milford, Massachusetts, to embark on a new life.

Having started O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co in Minneapolis with the help of Brian Nation’s Irish whiskey distilling experience, Patrick O'Shaughnessy and his mother Cheryl have returned to the homeland of their ancestors to bring their newest creation back to where it started for their family in the 1800s.

Keeper’s Heart Irish + American Whiskey launched in 2021, and quickly expanded its portfolio with Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon. With its innovative liquid and expert craftsmanship, Irish + American became the most awarded new whiskey brand in 2022, including International Wine and Spirits Challenge Platinum, Ultimate Spirits Challenge 94, Critics Challenge International Platinum, and Pr%f Awards Double Gold honours.

Speaking about the foundation of O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co, co-founder Patrick O’Shaughnessy said: “What started as an O’Shaughnessy family reunion became the birthplace of Keeper’s Heart, a celebration of our family’s Irish-American heritage.

“Our great great grandfather came to the United States from Ireland, and our large extended family has stayed close to our Irish roots. Keeper’s Heart was created to celebrate that. We are extremely proud of the Keeper’s Heart team and the reception the brand has received since we launched. It has made it possible to continue to grow Keeper’s Heart and evolve the liquid offerings, and now, as we begin international distribution, Ireland was at the top of the list. We hope the Irish people enjoy what we have created as much as the American drinkers have.”

Liquid development is led by master distiller Brian Nation, who has more than 22 years of experience working on some of the most renowned and high-quality Irish whiskeys in the world. Born and raised in Cork city, he moved to Minnesota following a meeting with the O’Shaughnessy family to embark on a new adventure and create a new style of whiskey, marrying the best of Irish and American whiskey-making traditions.

“I never thought I’d leave Ireland until I met the O’Shaughnessy family and heard what they wanted to create,” Brian Nation said. “Their vision was inspiring, and together, along with American whiskey visionary David Perkins, we’ve created an innovative liquid portfolio and a brand that celebrates family and heritage. Keeper’s Heart is my passion project, and I’m proud to return home to share with my friends and family what we’ve been up to across the pond.”

Nation collaborated on the blending of Keeper’s Heart with liquid collaborator and advisor, David Perkins, founder of High West Distillery. The pair aims to combine the best of Irish and American whiskey traditions, by blending of Irish Triple Pot distilled whiskey, Irish Grain Whiskey with American Rye and Bourbon.

“From the beginning, our goal has been to put Keeper’s Heart on the world whiskey map, and today we begin expanding into international markets, sharing our story, our proud Irish-American heritage, and our award-winning liquid portfolio with the global whiskey community. Beginning that journey in Ireland is the perfect first step,” said Mike Duggan, CEO of O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co.

Keepers Heart will be available exclusively from Barry & Fitzwilliam from mid-March.

Commenting on the distribution agreement for Keepers Heart, Michael Barry, managing director of Barry & Fitzwilliam, said: “We are very proud to be distributing such innovative whiskeys created by the master distiller Brian Nation and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”

It will be stocked in off licenses across the country, including Bradleys of Cork, Molloys of Dublin, Redmonds of Ranleagh, Celtic Whiskey Shop, carryout off-licences, The Offie, Cork, Irish Malts, and, RRP €49.00.

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