Could Keeper’s Heart Be The Ideal Union Of Bourbon & Irish Whiskey?

Last Updated on June 25, 2022 by Lydia Martin

For whiskey geeks like ourselves, it’s always fascinating how distilleries come up with releases that artfully cross the boundaries. The recent unveiling of the new Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon certainly got our attention. Could this attempt be the perfect marriage between American and Irish distilling traditions? 

Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon [1] is the second release from O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co. in Minneapolis, the first being a blend of rye and Irish whiskey. The process is carefully supervised by Master Distiller Brian Nation (formerly of Jameson Distillery) in collaboration with David Perkins, the founder of High West Distillery. 

“Our first blend was going to be an Irish blend plus bourbon, but we didn’t find a bourbon that suited what we wanted,” says Nation. “And we also had to make sure the continuity of supply was there. From MGP, we eventually found a four-year-old bourbon we liked.”

“If we’re trying to attract bourbon drinkers to our whiskey, they’re loyal to that style. So I think we found one that has a pepperiness in the initial kick, plus the caramel and oak, but it’s enhanced by the herbal notes of the pot still, with a kick of butterscotch from the grain whiskey,” Nation added as they plan to make this unique blend bourbon-forward. 

Bottled at 46% ABV, Irish + Bourbon is an exquisite blend of American bourbon, Irish grain whiskey, and Irish pot still whiskey. The triple distilled pot still Irish whiskey is aged for at least four years in bourbon barrels; the bourbon used is made from 76% corn and aged over four years in virgin oak barrels; Irish grain whiskey (malt and maize) is aged over four years in refill American bourbon barrels. 

On the nose, you’ll find notes of rich caramel, butterscotch, and richly baked pecan pie. To the palate, there’s a nice fruitiness and peppery taste with hints of cocoa and vanilla malt shake. This whiskey features a rather pleasant rich wood finish. 

We think this match made in whiskey heaven could be interesting in a cocktail like a Manhattan, perhaps. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea – er, whiskey, but we think it’s worth trying. While O’Shaughnessy is waiting for their whiskey to mature, expect other limited edition Keeper’s Heart whiskeys to come your way in the future. 

With an SRP of $45, Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon is almost always sold out at online stores, but you might still find one at your local shop. 



Leave a Comment