Midleton Dair Ghaelach

Midleton Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood is a Single Pot Still Irish whiskey from the Midleton Distillery and it means, quite simply, Irish Oak. This whiskey has been matured in barrels made from sustainable virgin Irish Oak grown on the Ballaghtobin Estate in Co. Kilkenny and what the oak brings to this special whiskey is the true and unique flavour of Ireland. Its provenance as individual as its fragrance, its journey from grain to glass as distinguished as its finish, this is a whiskey like no other.

The Irish Oak casks are filled with a select range of 15 to 22 year old Single Pot Still distillates. Nosed and tasted every month by our Master Blender, Billy Leighton, and Master of Maturation, Kevin O’Gorman, after almost a year, Midleton Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood was judged to be beautifully balanced; subtly yet unmistakably flavoured to perfection by the Irish Oak that gives it its name. Midleton Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood is one of a kind as it is our first Irish whiskey to be matured in home-grown Irish Oak.

In 2015 Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood was named Irish whiskey of the year by both Whisky Advocate and The Jim Murray Whisky Bible.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Midleton Dair Ghaelach is our first whiskey to be finished in Irish Oak casks. Each bottle can be traced back to an individual tree in the Irish estate that the wood was procured from, in this case the Ballaghtobin Estate in Co. Kilkenny.

Nine 130-year-old trees from Grinsell’s Wood, within the Ballaghtobin Estate, were felled in April 2012. To craft the oak into barrels, fellow artisans at the Maderbar sawmills in Baralla, north-west Spain, used the quarter-sawing process to cut the trees into staves under the watchful eye of the Midleton Masters. The staves were then transferred to the Antonio Páez Lobato Bodega cooperage in Jerez, where they were laid out for drying. After 15 months, the staves were worked into 48 Hogshead casks, each of which was given a medium toast, and brought back to the Midleton Distillery, Co. Cork.

Our Masters at the Midleton Distillery invested significant time researching the differences between Irish, Spanish and American Oak, this allowed them to understand what affect the Irish Oak would have on the whiskey.

The distinctive Irish Oak contributes to the enhanced vanilla, caramel and chocolate flavours of Midleton Dair Ghaelach. It also gives the wonderfully sweet, caramel and toasted notes that are detectable on the nose.


The crisp Pot Still spices are seamlessly enriched by the woodland fragrances of the Irish Oak. Sweet vanilla notes are given depth by some chocolate honeycomb and coffee beans, whilst the balancing rich fruit aromas of red berries, pineapple and ripe banana compliment the subtle aromatic oils.


The typical Pot Still spices are fortified by the Irish Oak character. Robust yet mellow, clove and cinnamon give way to dairy fudge and milk chocolate sweetness combining with a touch of stewed apple.


An exceptionally long finish, with some sweet spices slowly fading, leaving the final bow to the Irish Oak.


Irish Oak barrels have never been used before due to the lack of sustainable Irish Oak. However the recent rejuvenation in the plantation of Irish Oak means we are now able to responsibly procure native oak for maturation that is sustainable in the long-term. This makes Midleton Dair Ghaelach truly one of a kind.