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Midleton Very Rare Launches Forêt De Tronçais

Irish Distillers recently introduced Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais, designed to showcase what’s described as “the harmonious fusion of Irish and French luxury and craftsmanship.”

 Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais came about first in 2017, when Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman and his team from Midleton Distillery embarked on a cask procurement trip to France. Exploring the Tronçais forest, they discovered “the rare and sought-after T5 oak cask, renowned for its fine grain and delicate flavours,” which O’Gorman was convinced would add a new dimension to the aromatics in the Midleton Very Rare Irish whiskey family.

A bespoke batch of very special Midleton single grain and single pot still whiskeys matured over decades spanning the 1980s-2000s in American bourbon barrels were selected and filled into T5 casks, which were left to mature under O’Gorman’s watch. After three years, he felt it was ready to go.

Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais
Irish Distillers recently introduced Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais, designed to showcase what’s described as “the harmonious fusion of Irish and French luxury and craftsmanship.” (image via Irish Distillers)

“We may have created ‘the Pinnacle of Irish Whiskey’ with Midleton Very Rare, but we are constantly driven by the desire to push boundaries and create something new,” said O’Gorman in a prepared statement. “Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais represents our relentless pursuit of perfection and innovation while staying true to the unmistakable Midleton character and DNA, as we introduce some of the world’s finest oak to produce an outstanding and elegant Midleton expression.”

Midleton Distillery’s collaboration with Taransaud cooperage, who are known for their expertise in cask-making, resulted in the latter monitoring the natural air drying of the T5 oak staves over a five-year period, preparing them to infuse the Midleton whiskeys with “unique aromas, flavours and tannins that carry the distinct characteristics of the Tronçais oak.”

“We are immensely proud to be part of this historic collaboration that showcases the utmost rarity and excellence in both Irish whiskey and French coopering,” said Jacquelin de Pracomtal, Vice President at Taransaud. “Our dedication is reflected in each T5 oak cask that was used to infuse the whiskey with its distinct characteristics. We love to collaborate with the finest brands in their field and the Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais embodies exclusivity and our ‘par excellence’ approach to our craft. We are honoured to have contributed to its creation.”

The whiskey is presented in an exclusively designed bottle & cabinet with handcrafted details. The bottle colour is inspired by the Midleton duck egg blue colour which features on the orchid in the Midleton logo. The cabinet, created by Manufacture Jacquemin, a third-generation traditional woodcrafts business based in the Jura Mountains in Eastern France, is made from fine oak from the Tronçais forest and features laser-cut illustrations that “pay homage to the enchanting French woodland and its role in this whiskey’s unique story.”

This first edition of Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais is bottled at 48% ABV and is available in select markets including Ireland, USA, Northern Ireland, Global Travel Retail, France, UK, China, Hong Kong and online at the RRP of €5,000 / $5,000 / £4,400.

Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais will be released in yearly editions. Official tasting notes are below.

  • Nose: Oak enriched perfumed aromas with delectable fruit notes of poached pears, caramelised apples, and orange zest. Additional notes of honeycomb and toasted hazelnut continue to evolve in tandem with the building aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans. The woodland spices are brought to the fore by the elegant and measured influence of the extra fine-grained French oak, adding nuanced characteristics that enhance the pot still spices and floral grain whiskeys in this complex and aged blend.
  • Taste: Herbal at first, with notes of fresh peppermint and sage, weaving amongst the succulent orchard fruits and zesty orange. The oak’s subtle tannins complement the chocolate-dipped honeycomb and sweet vanilla, adding to the luscious, silken texture synonymous with Midleton’s pot still and grain whiskeys. Elevated wood spices continue to evolve adding further complexity to this intricate whiskey.
  • Finish: Exquisitely long finish where the fruits and spices are enveloped by the enchanting nature of the toasted wood, showcasing a harmonious balance between Irish whiskey and French oak.

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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