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Method And Madness Garryana Oak




Whiskey Review: Method And Madness Garryana Oak

Tasting Notes:

Irish single-pot still whiskey aged in bourbon barrels and finished in Garryana oak; 700 ml; bottled at 46% ABV.
The color in the glass is a nice, moderate golden brown, having ok legs and viscosity.
The typical earthy aromatics of Garryana stand out right away to the nose, with slight nods to the Irish triple pot still style lingering underneath. There’s some moderate oak, vanilla, butterscotch, a dash of cherry, a hint of warm bread, and a little pinch of spice.
The robust nature of the Garryana is mellowed by the cleanliness of the Irish on the palate, resulting in a harmony between the two. The interchange here throws onto the stage hints of earthy mushroom, sweet vanilla, a gentle oak kick, a banana note, some almond, and a subtle apricot essence.
This finishes with a nice earthy spice on the back throat, bringing to mind previous Garryana-influenced expressions that have been tried. The linger of this, along with a note of sweetness, stays just long enough not to wear out its welcome.
Garryana oak, even in a finishing use capacity, is a challenging flavor profile to bring to the table. However, the Midleton team has done a solid job at getting it down, and they are to be commended for creating such a unique release.
Method And Madness Garryana Oak
We review Method And Madness Garryana Oak, which takes Midleton Single Pot Still Whiskey, aged in bourbon barrels, and finishes it for a spell in Garryana oak. (image via Irish Distillers)

Editor’s Note: We received a review sample of this whiskey from the brand. However, in accordance with our editorial policies, this has not influenced the outcome of our review in any way.

Garryana oak is an interesting species of wood considered for use in aging whiskey. Known to have an elevated melodic aroma profile and high tannins, it can deliver a unique set of flavors to the brown spirit resting within. The most well-known user of this oak type is Westland, an American single malt producer from the Pacific Northwest, which is also where Garryana happens to come from.

Having had a fair number of Garryana-influenced expressions over the years living in the Pacific Northwest myself, I can tell you firsthand that it is not an easy wood to master for any distillery team. Whiskeys aged just in it exclusively are very powerful on the palate, and not always in a good way. That’s why you often see it as part of a mix of other wood-type barrels being used for a specific release or, in the case of the Method And Madness Garryana Oak being reviewed today, as a finishing barrel.

Method and Madness is an Irish whiskey brand operated by Irish Distillers out of Midleton in Ireland. It is something of a playground for the Midleton distiller team, producing unique and sometimes one-off expressions created against a backdrop that provides “the copper canvas for experimentation to run free.”

What’s in the bottle

Method And Madness Garryanna Oak takes the regular, triple-distilled Midleton Single Pot Still Whiskey, aged in bourbon barrels, and finishes it for a spell in Garryana oak before bottling it at 46% ABV.

“This limited-edition expression opens up new horizons in the world of Irish Whiskey creating a unique essence through the U.S. Pacific Northwest,” says Barrett Stapleton, Method and Madness Micro Distiller, at the time of its release. “This experimentation continues to show how METHOD AND MADNESS is dedicated to producing exceptional whiskeys and progressing its innovative spirit.”

Only 4,500 bottles were made available across the United States, priced at $80 per 700 ml bottle.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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