Method And Madness Showcases Wild Cherry Wood Finished Irish Whiskey - The Whiskey Wash

Method And Madness Showcases Wild Cherry Wood Finished Irish Whiskey

By Nino Marchetti / September 25, 2019

The Method and Madness series is crafted by Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers at the Midleton Distillery as a type of experimental playground for the distillery team to showcase offbeat Irish whiskeys from. Two of the latest are particularly fascinating, making use of finishing casks put together from offbeat wood types sourced from France.

The first, the Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished In Wild Cherry Wood is, according to those behind it, the first ever single pot still Irish whiskey that has been finished in nine casks crafted from wild cherry wood, sourced from France, for between seven months and four years.

Wood from the cherry tree is characterized by its porosity, which results in what’s said to be significant interaction between the wood and the whiskey and has reportedly added “complex flavors of shredded ginger, coconut and black tea to the ex-bourbon and sherry cask-matured whiskey.”

Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished In Wild Cherry Wood

Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished In Wild Cherry Wood (image via Irish Distillers)

“Since 2014,” said Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation at Midleton Distillery, in a prepared statement, “our research into maturation in different wood types has challenged our expertise and approach to whiskey-making – but none so much as our experimentations with wild cherry casks.

“The rare, porous wood is different to anything that we have handled before, so it has been a real achievement to create the perfect balance of flavour – the result is a world-first in Irish whiskey, with a nose of coconut fibre and ginger, a palate of fresh green herbs, black tea and unmistakable pot still spices and a long, fresh finish with prickly spice and hazelnut.”

Joining this first whiskey is another single pot still Irish whiskey, this time finished in barrels crafted from acacia wood, sourced from France, for between one and four years. Initially matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and sherry casks, the dense acacia wood is said to have “a tight grain that slowly imparts rich nutty and chocolatey flavors and a dark mahogany hue.”

This second expression, the Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Acacia Wood is bottled at 46% ABV and prices at €92, or around $105 USD (only to be found through the Celtic Whiskey Shop in Ireland). The other offering, meanwhile, shares the same bottling strength and price (to be found in six markets, including Ireland, the UK and global travel retail). You’ll find some official tasting notes below for both.

Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished In Wild Cherry Wood

  • Nose: Box Hedge Clippings, Coconut Fibre, Shredded Ginger
  • Taste: Fresh Green Herbs, Black Tea, Pot Still Spices
  • Finish: Long and Fresh, Prickly Spice, Toasted Hazelnut

Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Acacia Wood

  • Nose: Sugared Almonds, Wood Spices, Crushed Cloves
  • Taste: Coffee Beans, Dark Chocolate, Chilli Oil
  • Finish: Fading Spices, Charred Wood, Barley Husk