Irish Distillers has unveiled a new single pot still Irish whiskey finished in virgin Mulberry Wood to its celebrated Method And Madness range.
In a world-first for Irish whiskey, the limited-edition release has been finished in White Mulberry Wood felled in central Hungary. The wood is then harvested and air-dried for two years at the Kádár sawmills in Tokaj before being transferred to a cooperage in Budapest. The relatively high porosity and medium toasting of the Mulberry Wood casks impart elevated flavours of wood spices and enhanced toffee sweetness, along with a natural golden hue to the whiskey.
The whiskey, a single pot still distillate, was first matured in a combination of first-fill and re-fill American Oak barrels, before being left to finish in 50-litre Mulberry Wood casks. Bottled at 46% ABV, the resulting whiskey offers notes of smoked paprika, sweet toffee apple and a freshly cut wood character imparted from the virgin Mulberry Wood.
Launched in 2017, Method And Madness was created to push the boundaries of Irish whiskey through innovative releases by harnessing the experience and creativity of the masters and fresh thinking of the apprentices at Midleton Distillery and Micro Distillery. Method And Madness Mulberry Wood was born out of trials dating back to 2019, when Midleton’s Wood Planning and Maturation Team Lead, Finbarr Curran, sourced the rare Mulberry Wood casks from Budapest.
Back in Ireland, the team at Midleton experimented with different whiskey styles and maturation times for the perfect marriage between liquid and cask. Just 50 litres in size and conducive to accelerated maturation, given the large surface-to-volume ratio, the Midleton Masters and Apprentices kept a close eye on the whiskey before finally settling on a finishing period of between three and eight months for a balanced wood contribution.
“We are delighted to launch our limited-edition Mulberry wood finish, a world-first for the category and the third world first in the Method & Madness range,” said Curran. “So far, our commitment to wood experimentation and maturation has taken us all over the world and led to the development of some of the most exquisite Irish whiskeys. It’s been a joyous journey of discovery and we look forward to continuing this exploration as we keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in Irish whiskey.”
“With its unusual wood structure and small cask size, there’s no doubt that Mulberry Wood presented its challenges, with early trials failing,” noted Anna Lazaridou, Maturation Research and Innovation Technologist. “But in the ethos of the Method & Madness range, our relentless dedication to trial and error has produced a beautifully balanced whiskey. And it’s with great pride that we share this with the world today.”
Method And Madness Mulberry Wood is available to purchase online now and on shelves in Ireland and Finland for the price of €95 per bottle.
What a great opening picture — excellent way to get across from the beginning the role that mulberry plays! And from Hungary no less.
Irish whiskey has the #1 place in my heart and the Midleton Distillery has played a huge role in the industry. The mulberry is intriguing — what a great excuse that provides to sip some and try to discern the mulberry influence. Method and Madness Mulberry Wood is now on the shopping list!!!
White mulberry wood casks must lend a very interesting finish to this single pot still Irish whiskey – the innovative approach certain piques my interest. I love Midleton in all its variations. I will be hunting down a bottle of this to share with family.