The annual release of the Midleton Very Rare Irish whiskey expression is commonly considered a popular premium expression among lovers of this Irish whiskey type. It is now approached its 35th edition via the unveiling of the 2018 blend from Pernod Ricard-owned Irish Distillers.
Midleton Very Rare 2018, according to those behind it, is the newest release from a long standing line of Irish whiskey dating back to 1984. Created at the Midleton distillery in County Cork, Ireland, it is a blend of rare and hand-selected single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys, each of which have been matured in lightly-charred, ex-bourbon American oak barrels for between 12 and 28 years.
Midleton Very Rare 2018 (image via Irish Distillers)
“It is a great honour to have my signature on the front of each bottle of Midleton Very Rare,” said Brian Nation, Master Distiller at Midleton Distillery, in a prepared statement, “and this acts as the ultimate guarantee of quality from the Midleton Distillery. We set aside very small amounts of particularly fine single pot still and single grain distillates each year so that the Midleton Very Rare legacy can continue. This practice has been going on for over 40 years and today we are the proud custodians of the exceptional distillates with a duty of care to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the pinnacle of Irish whiskey as we do today.”
Plans call for this whiskey, bottled at 40% ABV, to be made available globally for a price point of €180, or close to $210 USD. It comes in a special wooden presentation box, and you’ll find official tasting notes for this bottling below.
Nose: Vanilla sweetness with a light floral perfume. Some citrus zest combines with fresh herbs and sweet spices complimented by a touch of black pepper and charred oak.
Taste: Mouth-coating sweetness of vanilla, cinnamon and clove, enriched with a hint of green apple and unripe banana. Peppery pot still spices, along with charred American oak, add complexity.
Finish: Soft sweet spices fade leisurely leaving the final say to the charred oak and barley grains.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief 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...