Midleton Unveils Very Rare 2022 Whiskeys
The 2022 vintage of Midleton Very Rare
© photo provided
Falstaff: When did you join Midleton?
What is the unifying characteristic in the 39 releases?
The Midleton Very Rare DNA blends the finest casks of grain and pot whiskeys with the majority stored in the low-roofed, A2 stone warehouse dating from the 1860s. The single pot whiskey is made from malted and un-malted barley, triple distilled in a copper pot still which gives a robust, fruity, spicy whiskey, while the grain, being a mix of malted barley and maize, is distilled in a column still, coming off at a higher strength which gives delicate notes of rosewater, with a sweetness, particularly when matured in American oak. Together, you get fruits, spices, toffee and vanilla. It is up to the distiller of the day to decide on the proportion of grain and pot. For the Midleton Very Rare 2022 vintage, I maintained a high proportion of grain whiskeys to contribute an elegant perfume of rose petals.
What about the wood?
Barry was always a fan of American oak which is why he picked only first-, second- or third-fill American oak from Tennessee and Bourbon contributing vanilla, fudge and butterscotch. The distiller decides on the proportion of first-fill American oak casks versus refills which also affects the wood influence on the whiskey. The other parameter that can be controlled is the age with the 2022 vintage covering a range of 12–33 years.
Do you mind people hoarding Midleton Very Rare for investment?
Since I joined, I’ve collected two bottles per vintage: one to drink – whiskey being there to be enjoyed – and the other to pass on to my family which I think is the ideal solution. When I started, I didn’t think my name would be on the bottle.
TASTING NOTES AND SCORES
- Midleton Very Rare 2013
Exotic, fresh pineapple fragrance then a juicy palate with banoffee pie notes. Complex beyond an easy initial charm. Featuring 14-23 year old whiskeys. 750ml, 40% ABV, £1,300/$1,707.
- Midleton Very Rare 2022
Super fresh with mandarin, then candied apple and chocolate coated hazelnuts on the nose, then moss on the palate with a dusting of white pepper and floral undertones. Good acidity; precise. The final flavours redolent of Jaffa cakes. Featuring 12 parcels of whiskeys, 12-33 years old. The blend took O’Gorman six months to perform. 750ml, 40% ABV, £190/$250.
- Midleton Very Rare 1985
Upfront vanilla, warm fudge, mint chocolate, coffee cake, lemon balm and black pepper aromas, then a gelatinous palate with sugared cobnuts and cereal. Creamy, with less fruit than the subsequent expressions. Featuring whiskeys from 12-17 years old. 750ml, 40% ABV, £2,000/$2,626.
- Midleton Very Rare 2000
Opulent, butterscotch, gourmet white chocolate, fresh vanilla and kiwi scents followed by butterscotch on the palate and coconut oil. Featuring 12-20 year old whiskeys. 750ml, 40% ABV, £200/$263.
- Midleton Very Rare 1996
Lime cordial, lime zest, orange peel and salted caramel nose followed by luscious red apple on the mouth-watering palate, though alcohol feels more present. Finally, dried lime within the long finish. Featuring 12-18 year old whiskeys. 750ml, 40% ABV, £499/$655.
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