We started 2020 with a bang, hosting a Midleton Very Rare tasting in Belfast’s Merchant Hotel.
Our guests were treated to a serious whiskey line-up: Midleton Very Rare 2018; Midleton Very Rare 2019; Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy and Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Tree 3.
After a brief chat about the rich history of Midleton (and a few tasty cask samples) we jumped straight into our first whiskey.
Midleton Very Rare 2018. In my opinion one of the more spicy Midleton Releases in recent years.
On the nose, plenty of sweet orange and citrus with some soft honey and stone fruit. On the palate plenty of rich pot still spice, white pepper and clove fading to succulent fruit and toasted oak.
Next up we had our Midleton Very Rare 2019. This would be the first official tasting of this whiskey in Northern Ireland and everyone was keen to see how it fared against the previous year.
On the nose much more fruit driven with mandarin orange, mango and pineapple. A softer spicy on the palate with some boiled sweets and apricot fading to a lovely sweet barley finish.
For our third whiskey we paid tribute to a man who has perhaps had more of an impact on Irish Whiskey in recent years than anyone else in the world – Barry Crockett.
A second generation distiller and the man responsible for distilling some of the best loved Irish Whiskeys ever made. Before he retired he put together one final whiskey to celebrate his work – Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy.
A firm favourite of mine and a few of our guests. On the nose this single pot still brought a bouquet of pear drops, fresh mint, honeysuckle and cake dough.
On the palate plenty of citrus peel, manuka honey, cake dough and a subtle pot still spice. Hugely complex, this whiskey caused plenty of discussion.
To finish up we ended with a truly special and unique whiskey: Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Tree #3. A range of pot still aged from 12 to 23 years married together and finished for 19 months in Irish oak casks from Bluebell Forest on Castle Blunded Estate, Co. Kilkenny.
Each whiskey can be traced to the individual tree it came from. This one was a truly special treat and we’re keeping the tasting notes for ourselves.
A fantastic night and no better way to start a new decade.
You can also find out more about some of the Midleton Very Rare whiskies here.