Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey (700ml) - 2023 Bottling
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Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey (700ml) - 2023 Bottling

County Cork, IRELAND
$399. 00
$4788.00 Dozen
ABV: 40%

"The integration of chocolate and coffee notes really elevates this vintage as a particularly fine whiskey." - whiskyadvocate.com

Above acclaimed brands like Jameson, Redbreast and Green Spot, Midleton Distillery also produces a high-end luxury bottling that's not always easy to find. Released annually since 1984 and simply named 'Very Rare', recent vintages have received high praise from whiskyadvocate.com, fueling a reputation as one of the finest premium blends going around. Its following now includes collectors and investors. In mid-2023, all 41 bottlings went on sale in the UK for 110,000 euros. The 2023 edition marks the 40th vintage (two versions were released in 2017). Adorned with the signature of Master Distiller, Kevin O’Gorman who took over from Brian Nation in 2018, the blend is made up of single grain and single pot still whiskeys. The former are derived from a mashbill of no more than 30 percent malted barley with the rest usually being corn. The latter consists of malted and unmalted barley. This year the pot still components have been increased as O’Gorman wanted to highlight notes of spice, ripe fruit and citrus. The impact of the grain whiskey is said to be less pronounced, contributing background notes of vanilla and milk chocolate. Ex-Bourbon casks are always used, but in 2023 there are fewer first-fills in the mix, so the wood influence on the palate is pulled back. O’Gorman adds, “Each year, it is a privilege and an honour to pour through the samples of exceptional liquids stored in the Midleton warehouses to create the next pinnacle of luxury Irish whiskey... The 2023 vintage is no different… Finding the perfect blend for this year is a testament to those who have gone before me, while the presentation of the liquid in recyclable packaging is a step towards the future for this historic brand.” In line with previous allocations, we have just received a small parcel.

Other reviews... Toffee up front, with vanilla, green apple, pot still spice, milk chocolate, peppercorn, ground ginger, and aromatic hints of coffee. To taste, a bounty of toffee, chocolate, espresso, tobacco, vanilla pod, and burnt sugar notes, with coriander seed and fennel spices, then burnt orange and more coffee before a delicious creaminess spills over. The integration of chocolate and coffee notes really elevates this vintage as a particularly fine whiskey. 94 points - whiskyadvocate.com

Notes from the producers... Aroma: Opens with an intricate medley of fruits including nectarines, ripe melon, green apple, and apricot. A solid foundation of pot still spices, showcasing notes of freshly peeled ginger and crushed peppercorns, work in tandem with the aged grain’s perfumed notes of dried flowers and delectable golden syrup. The oak continues to reveal itself, adding notes of vanilla, combined with a honeycomb sweetness and freshly roasted coffee beans. Taste: Luscious at first with succulent fruits and a distinctive creaminess along with a herbal quality akin to camomile tea. The pot still spices add depth and intrigue as they weave amongst the floral grain qualities found lingering throughout. The charred oak’s influence continues to build over time creating additional complexity as the wood-derived spices complement the ever-present fruits of candied orange and dried apricot. Finish: The fruits and pot still spices build to a crescendo before giving way, leaving the final say to the oak tannins and antique grain whiskey.