Irish Distillers has expanded the Method and Madness range once more with two new and typically experimental Irish whiskeys… Anyone for Virgin Hungarian Oak finish or Ruby Port Pipe Single Cask?
The very point of the Method and Madness brand, first launched in 2017, has always been to push boundaries and innovate. So it should be no surprise to any Irish whiskey fans that two fabulous and unconventional new bottlings are poised to launch from the famed Midleton Distillery: Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak and Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 28 Year Old Ruby Port Pipe Single Cask.
Hungary for Method and Madness?
It’s not every day you get to sample a dram of whiskey finished in a cask made of virgin Quercus Petraea oak grown and felled in the volcanic soils of the Carpathian Mountain range in north-eastern Hungary. But you’d almost expect nothing less from Method and Madness, which is about to achieve an Irish whiskey world-first with the release of Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak.
The single pot still distillation whiskey, bottled without chill-filtration at 46% ABV, was first matured in a combination of first-fill and refill American oak barrels, before it was finished in the virgin Hungarian oak for 11 months. The fascinating cask type, which was harvested in winter and air-dried for two years at the Kádár sawmills in Tokaj, was chosen for its tight grain structure, which theoretically imparts complex compounds and subtle flavours slowly into the whiskey during the finishing process.
Kevin O’Gorman, master of maturation at Midleton Distillery, commented: “Our quest for uncommon casks has led us all over the world. The result is a new first for Irish whiskey that continues to challenge perceptions of what the category can be.”
There’s plenty to treasure about the new Method and Madness…
But the Method and Madness team hasn’t stopped there. The second aged release in the series is the stunning Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 28 Year Old Ruby Port Pipe Single Cask, bottled at 56.1% ABV. A single pot still Irish whiskey initially matured for six years in American oak barrels, this beauty was re-casked into a ruby port pipe (which itself was carefully seasoned with a selection of wines to remove some of the heavy tannins, and then seasoned with ruby Port) for a further 22 years.
Dave McCabe, apprentice blender at Midleton Distillery, summarised the work that went into this incredible new edition: “Method and Madness 28 Year Old Ruby Port Pipe marks the realisation of a 22-year-old prediction from the Midleton Masters, which stated that the marriage of flavours between a single pot still Irish whiskey and a Port pipe will one day achieve balance.”
Which Method and Madness bottling is for you?
So, the only thing left to decide is, will you be tempted by the new and exciting world of virgin Hungarian oak? Or instead will the gem of a 28 year old ruby port pipe single cask simply be too enticing? As we’re always keen to help on all matters malt and such here at MoM Towers, we’ve given you the tasting notes from master blender Billy Leighton to help you decide! (That way, you’re sorted before they land here soon!)
Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak tasting notes by master blender, Billy Leighton:
Nose: Treacle, toffee, toasted coconut and campfire ashes.
Palate: Silky smooth richness, bittersweet liquorice and dry woodland notes.
Finish: Dissipating spice and toasted oak.
Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 28 Year Old Ruby Port Pipe tasting notes by master blender, Billy Leighton:
Nose: Fleshy mango, kiwi and green banana and ripe plums.
Palate: Vanilla and cinnamon, port wine and barley grains.
Finish: Lingering succulent fruits, toasted oak and light spice.