Midleton Very Rare has unveiled the Third Chapter in its Silent Distillery collection, a 47-year-old Single Pot Still Irish whiskey made from a marriage of whiskeys matured in a hand-selected bourbon barrel and a sherry butt.
Produced in Midleton Distillery, Co. Cork, Ireland, this new chapter in the Silent Distillery Collection is the third of six planned releases. Beginning in 2020 the distillery began to release one chapter annually over six years which will culminate in 2025, the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the legendary Old Midleton Distillery which operated from 1825-1975. This collection, ranging in age from 45 to 50 years old, represents the very last drops of this inimitable spirit before the distillery went silent forever.
As previously stated, Chapter Three is a 47-year-old whiskey born from the marriage of two separate whiskeys matured in an ex-bourbon barrel and an ex-sherry butt. The two whiskeys date back to 1973 and were blended before bottling to give the whiskey an extraordinary flavor. The release of Chapter Three, which marks the halfway point of the collection, pays homage to history and craftsmanship, a journey of age and time inspired by the element of fire, as the pot still worked its magic through the fires which burned beneath it.
The inspiration from the element of fire can be traced back to 1854 when the largest pot still in the world was assembled and installed by local craftsmen at the Old Midleton Distillery. The still was managed by the skilled hands of so-called “fire men,” whose job it was to control the temperature of the stills which could heat more than 30,000 gallons of liquid in a single day. The roar of the fires has been silenced but the still remains in the grounds of the old distillery. It is this trailblazing story which serves as an inspiration for the third release from Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery.
On the nose, the first impression is a rich medley of forest fruits. Notes of sugar-glazed cherries, earthy and toffee tones of muscovado sugar and almond flake follow, complementing the oak’s enduring influence on the spirit. Aromas reminiscent of worn, leather-bound ledgers and pipe tobacco linger, while measured levels of pot still spices add their own delicate presence.
The palate opens with a luxuriously rich and full-bodied texture accompanied by notes of freshly brewed dark roasted coffee, caramelized fruits, crushed pistachio and hazelnut. Hints of dried herbs and peppermint add further complexity, along with the oak’s soft tannins and subtle pot still spices. A lasting finish finds soft fruits and old pot still spices lingering in harmony with the oak and emphasizes how decades of undisturbed aging can create such balance and complexity.
With just 97 bottles of this extraordinarily rare Irish whiskey produced, Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Three is incomparable in terms of age and history and presents as a true connoisseur’s dream. Created and matured under the guardianship of four celebrated Master Distillers, the whiskey has been enhanced through each changing of hands, with each Master taking great care to protect the legacy of the precious liquid.
Last year, Kevin O’Gorman became only the fourth person in 75 years to hold the title of Master Distiller at Midleton Distillery. Kevin follows in the footsteps of previous Master Distillers including Max Crockett, the forefather of modern Irish whiskey; his son Barry, the creator of Midleton Very Rare, and Brian Nation.
“Crafted from a marriage of distillations left to mature over 47 years in a hand-selected bourbon barrel and a sherry butt, Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter Three, is a wonderfully aged yet contemporary expression of Irish Whiskey like no other,” commented O’Gorman. “This year the inspiration of fire came from the world’s largest pot still and the relentless work from the local men, the ‘fire men’ who used to feed the still’s fires, whilst learning how to regulate the heat through stoking and raking to ensure the temperature was correct.”
Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Three has been decanted into hand blown and etched crystal decanter bottles, produced by Ireland’s Waterford Crystal, with each of the bottles individually numbered 1-97. The bottle comes displayed in a bespoke wooden cabinet handcrafted by Irish designer, John Galvin, using wood made from Burr Elm, an ancient wood as rare as the whiskey within it. The markings recall the flames that once warmed the old pot still.
“Midleton Distillery embodies Irish heritage and this new Chapter based around the element of fire, inspired our team at John Galvin Design when sourcing materials and designing the cabinet for the bottle,” said Galvin. “Our craftsmen have used the rich coloured Burr Elm wood for the wooden case with the aim of reconnecting us to our land and origins.”
Consumers will be able to experience drops of Chapter Three from the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery through an event at Adare Manor Hotel in Ireland on June 13th. The tickets are limited for this rare and exclusive experience. Further details are available through Adare Manor.
Silent Distillery Chapter Three will be available to purchase via a ballot on the Midleton Very Rare 1825 room, which goes live on May 3rd at 12pm and closes on May 10th. It will be priced at €45,000, £42,500, $51,000.
For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.
Last year, Midleton Very Rare unveiled Chapter Two of its Silent Distillery Collection, a 46-year-old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. In February, the brand unveiled the 2022 Vintage of its Very Rare Irish whiskey.