Saturday 15 November 2008

New Midleton Single Cask

The new Midleton Single Cask, exclusive to the Celtic Whiskey Shop, has arrived and is now on sale. Only 288 bottles were produced so I don't expect it to last long.

Like standard Midleton, it's a blend of pure pot still and grain whiskeys and matured in ex-bourbon wood. The twist here is that the constituent spirits were married immediately after distillation and aged together in the one cask. Somehow the Celtic Whiskey Shop got its hands on cask 95991 of the stuff ("after 5 years of pestering and pleading", as they say themselves) and they have bottled it at 46% ABV, another welcome enhancement on the usual 40% of Midleton Very Rare. No doubt this contributes to the far richer taste compared to the standard bottling.

These tasting notes come from Alastair Higgins of the Celtic Whiskey Shop
nose: Aromas of roasted nuts, fruit cake, fondant icing and ginger snaps with some delicate fruit characters.
palate: The flavours are warming and mouth coating with spice,
ginger and apricot to the fore. This evolves into lemony, fruity
notes with hints of pineapple, honey and white grapes.
finish: Long, complex and smooth on the finish.
I've tried it myself, though not under laboratory conditions, and it's wonderful. Definitely a candidate for best Irish whiskey, though I'd need a bottle to decide properly! It might seem expensive at €200 but standard Midleton is €150 and not nearly so impressive or exclusive.

On a side note, it's interesting to speculate what Irish Distillers was up to when they casked this whiskey. Was it an experiment or do they have serious production quantities intended for their other blends? I have no idea but the fact that they haven't revealed the whiskey's age (a standard item of information for a single cask bottling) makes me wonder if there is a story here.