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Irish Distillers Unveils Method And Madness Line To Irish Whiskey World

Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers division is best known for being the brand home of Jameson, the world’s fast growing Irish whiskey. Given this, it reasons they wouldn’t need to do much in experimentation to continue their current growth trajectory, but of late they’ve decided to try a new line of whiskeys which are each unique in how they push the boundaries of the Irish whiskey category. Enter the Method and Madness whiskey family.

The Method and Madness line has launched with four initial expressions, each with their own twist. These bottlings, of which more is described at the end of the story, include a single grain Irish whiskey finished in virgin Spanish oak; a single pot still Irish whiskey finished in French chestnut; a single malt Irish whiskey “enhanced” with French Limousin oak and a 31-year-old single cask, single grain whiskey bottled at cask strength.

Method and Madness

“At the Midleton Distillery, we are committed to innovation and experimenting with new whiskey styles,” said Brian Nation, master distiller at Irish Distillers, in a prepared statement. “We are also invested in training and nurturing the next generation of Irish whiskey makers and this project really brings that commitment to life.”

The passing on of knowledge and skills is part of our DNA from our long line of master distillers, to the generations of coopers that served their apprenticeships at the Midleton Distillery. In fact, this summer our apprentice cooper, Killian O’Mahony will become our first qualified cooper in over 40 years.”

Plans call for all but the 31-year-old to be available starting next month, with pricing dropping at around $55 (single grain), $75 (single pot still) and $85 (single malt). The older expression, meanwhile, will release in April and prices around $1,600.

Here are more details on each directly from Irish Distillers, including tasting notes:

– Single Grain Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Spanish Oak
After maturing in ex-Bourbon barrels to achieve a light, perfumed flavour on the exceptional grain distillate, the whiskey has uniquely been finished for 12 months in toasted, virgin Spanish oak from Galicia, North West Spain. The process added complexity, cask character and a spicy note until the perfect balance between the subtlety of the grain spirit and the contribution of the Spanish oak was skilfully mastered. The expression is bottled without chill filtration at 46% ABV and is available at the RRP of €49.
Tasting notes by Master Blender, Billy Leighton:
Nose: New pencil shavings, light rose petal and fresh rain on pine
Taste: Warm toasted oak, fresh peeled grapefruit and zesty wood spices
Finish: Sweet cereal, clove spiciness and fresh mint
– Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in French Chestnut
This Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey has been matured in a combination of ex-Oloroso sherry and ex-Bourbon barrels, before being transferred to chestnut casks sourced from the Isére region in France. In a world-first, the French chestnut casks impart a distinctive sweetness that lightens the mouth-feel, increases depth and adds a mahogany glow. The expression is bottled without chill filtration at 46% ABV and is available at the RRP of €69.
Tasting notes by Master Blender, Billy Leighton:
Nose: Red Liquorice laces, Fresh Rosemary mint and grated root ginger
Taste: Sweet fruit and spice, cinnamon toast and ripe banana
Finish: Aromatic green tea, dissipating fruit and spice and rich wood farewell
– Single Malt Irish Whiskey Enhanced with French Limousin Oak
The first Single Malt Irish Whiskey released from Midleton in recent memory, the whiskey has been initially matured in ex-Bourbon barrels, imparting flavours of malt and biscuit, and in a first for the category, has been part-finished in French Limousin oak for one year to add a lighter, floral and herbal note. The expression is bottled without chill filtration at 46% ABV and is available at the RRP of €79.
Tasting notes by Master Blender, Billy Leighton:
Nose: Freshly shelled peanut and cereal malt aroma
Taste: Cracked cinnamon stick and ice cream cone wafer
Finish: Fragrant bon bons and a hint of tasted barley
– Single Grain Irish Whiskey 31 Year Old
A bottling of exceptional single grain distillate matured in an ex-Bourbon cask for 31 years, this rare single cask release has developed a full deep grain character and a taste of honey, juicy mango and ripe melon with an endless dark wood and spicy finish. The expression which includes 3 Single Cask offerings is bottled without chill filtration ranging from 51.3%, 51.8 and 52.5% ABV and will be available from April 2017 at the RRP of €1,500.
Tasting notes by Master Blender, Billy Leighton:
Nose: Crisp floral, black liquorice and succulent fruit
Taste: Creamy honey, wood spice and honeydew melon
Finish: Endless dark wood, lingering fruit and gentle spices

5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Macallan Coronation

In 1953, many millions around the globe gathered in front of the television to watch the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 60 years later, The Macallan Distillery released a special commemorative bottling, celebrating the anniversary of the historic event.

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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