Midleton Very Rare has unveiled Chapter Two of its Silent Distillery Collection, a 46-year-old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. The Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection is a series of six unique releases. Having seen its first release in 2020, the team at Midleton Distillery will continue to unveil a new chapter annually until 2025. These whiskeys will range in age from 45 to 50 years old and all hail from the legendary Old Midleton Distillery which operated from 1825-1975.
Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Two is a 46-year-old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey distilled in 1973 in the signature style of Old Midleton and represents the next facet in a period of reawakening from the silence of the fabled distillery. Bottled in June of 2020 at 46 years and nine months, this cask yielded just 70 bottles of extraordinarily rare Irish whiskey.
Created and matured under the guardianship of four celebrated Master Distillers, the whiskey has been enhanced through each changing of hands, with the respective Masters taking care to protect the legacy of the liquid.
Distilled in the world’s largest copper pot still, Chapter Two enjoyed an exceptional maturation journey, aging over 46 years. Initially filled in to a selection of sherry and bourbon casks and left undisturbed for over 20 years, the whiskey was then married and re-casked into refill bourbon casks under the guardianship of Barry Crockett, then Master Distiller and son of Max. Years passed and the whiskey was later re-casked into newly arrived port pipes and once again laid down, gaining further depth and complexity until deemed to have acquired the optimum rich fruit and oak contribution sought out by the Master Distiller. For the concluding part of the journey, the whiskey finally rested in a refill Bourbon cask, allowing the many influences to combine and further evolve under the stewardship of distillers Brian Nation (Master Distiller 2013–2020) and Kevin O’Gorman (current Master Distiller).
Kevin O’Gorman is only the fourth person in 75 years to hold the title of Master Distiller. Having spent 15 years working closely with Barry Crockett, first as a distiller and then as Master of Maturation before taking on the title of Master Distiller in 2020. Commenting on the unique history and complexity of Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Two, he explains: “Like the distillate itself, the maturation journey of this whiskey is both complex and rare. The craft of re-casking requires incredible attention to detail and constant sensory assessment. When managed successfully it can produce an exquisite whiskey of great complexity. As Master of Maturation it was joy to oversee the ageing process of this expression in recent years. I could not have foreseen that this year, as Master Distiller, I would have the pleasure of overseeing the bottling of this liquid as Chapter Two in the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection. The benefits of the re-casking process are evident in the remarkable vibrancy of this ultra-aged Irish whiskey.”
Staying true to its proud Irish heritage and luxury craftsmanship, Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Two has been decanted into hand blown and etched crystal decanter bottles, produced by Ireland’s Waterford Crystal, with each of the bottles individually numbered to 1-70. The bottle comes displayed in a bespoke wooden cabinet hand crafted by Irish designer, John Galvin, using wood up to 200 years old from ancient reclaimed oak whiskey vats in addition to ancient Elm and rare Japanese Tamo.
On the nose, the whiskey opens with The first impression is a vibrant, fruity bouquet intertwined with a pleasing hint of exotic spices and soft sweetness. Decades of maturing in seasoned oak casks add a woody definition to the initial notes, while the fragrance of dark fruits and their zest effortlessly complements the delicate aromas of pot still spices, hazelnut and worn leather. The palate offers an assortment of berry fruits and mellow pot still spices slowly build in intensity, with each element enhancing the next. Subtle hints of anise and ginger weave amongst the unmistakably sweet characteristics of malt and oak. In the background, understated fruit flavours linger throughout. On the finish, the delicate spice and fruit flavors gradually fade, leaving the oak to have the last word.
Entry for the ballot for Chapter Two will open in the 1825 Room from 12pm on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. It is priced at $45,000.
In February, Midleton Very Rare unveiled its 2021 Vintage. The first under Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman.