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Midleton Very Rare is super premium Irish blended whiskey released annually in limited quantities (usually only 50 casks are bottled). It was introduced in 1984 and the early bottlings contained spirit distilled in the original Old Midleton Distillery, which ceased operations in 1975. The whisky doesn’t carry age destination but according to the company statement no component younger than 12 years is being used and some are considerably older, aged over 20 years. The label indicates the year of bottling, not the year of distillation and 2014 was the first creation of Brian Nation, who was appointed to master distiller position following Barry Crockett’s retirement. Producer’s tasting note:
Nose: rich, with vanilla sweetness on a layer of oak char from the influence of American white oak ex-Bourbon barrels. A soft floral note introduces the sweet spice of cinnamon, green pepper and garden mint. Beautifully rounded with hints of green apple and banana.
Taste: full, with the sweet spice of vanilla, cinnamon, and liquorice and the flinty note of barley grains. Ripe fruit combines with the charred oak, adding to the complexity.
Finish: sweet spicy flavors that linger, fading slowly to leave the last word with the barley.