First Midleton Very Rare 2021 From New Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman Unveiled

By Hannah Kanik / March 8, 2021

Irish Distiller’s new Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman recently unveiled Midleton Very Rare 2021 — the 38th edition in the collectible range, and the first created by him. The Midleton Very Rare series began four decades ago when then-masters set aside small amounts of whiskey for a new luxury offering in the world of Irish whiskey.

Midleton Very Rare 2021 is seen by those behind it as being a balanced blend of rare and hand-selected single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys from Midleton’s extensive inventory. It includes whiskey aged between 15 and 36 years and matured in lightly charred ex-bourbon American oak barrels.

Midleton Very Rare 2021

Midleton Very Rare 2021 (image via Irish Distillers)

“It is a great honour to become the custodian of this extraordinary Irish whiskey family and to have my signature adorn our 2021 vintage,” O’Gorman said in a prepared statement.

O’Gorman selected what he felt was a perfect mix of first-fill and second-fill casks to enhance the wood contribution while allowing the pot still component to express itself in order to maintain a balanced aroma and taste profile The higher selection of grain whiskies are said to have brought in aromas of baked orchard fruits, lime zest and kiwi, with mild pot still spices and soft waves of vanilla from the bourbon casks

“The journey to launching this vintage began almost 40 years ago,” O’Gorman continued. “Continuing the work of my predecessors was both a daunting and extremely enjoyable process that allowed me to explore some of our rarest casks and create an exceptional blend that sits seamlessly within the family.”

Midleton Very Rare 2021 is bottled at 40% ABV and available in Ireland now It will hit the shelves in the UK, USA, Global Travel Retail, Australia, Germany, France and Canada in the coming months for a suggested retail price of €180, or around $215 USD. You’ll find official tasting notes below.

  • Aroma: Opens with a delicate floral perfume closely followed by roasted coffee beans, salted caramel and honeycomb coming to the fore. Hints of nectarines that linger in the background evolve over time along with freshly grated ginger and nutmeg spice. The American oak provides structure throughout, ranging in depth from fresh woodland notes to aged charred oak.
  • Taste: Baked orchard fruits with a touch of lime zest and kiwi. Mild pot still spices continue to build along with soft waves of vanilla, sweet coffee liqueur and cocoa powder. The texture initially round and full, gains additional wood spices with a delicate touch of clove oil and nutmeg adding a mild heat, giving balance to the sweetness.
  • Finish: Lingering finish with the pot still spices and soft fruits eventually fading, allowing the oak to have the final say, highlighting the many years of maturation.