SILENT DISTILLERY COLLECTION CHAPTER 4
A WONDER OF THE WHISKEY WORLD
Earth. First among the five elements. Since the dawn of time it’s been the foundation of almost everything that surrounds us. It’s also been an essential giver of life, the root of all goodness, delivering the plants and the crops, the fruits and the flowers that feed, refresh and nourish us.
In Irish we say ‘talamh’ to describe the earth beneath our feet. Constant in an ever-changing world, it’s witnessed our unfolding history. It’s felt the footsteps of our ancestors, their comings and their goings. It’s rewarded the labours of diggers and dreamers with nature’s bounty, like the barley that’s at the heart of this, the fourth release from the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery – the oldest ever collection of Irish whiskey.
GUARDIANS OF THE LEGACY
The original Midleton Distillery was named after its founders – Messrs James Murphy & Co – and its ledgers, dating back to 1825, tell their own extraordinary story. Their pages record an age-old and thriving trade in barley – much of it sown, grown and harvested in the fertile earth of nearby farms.
The hustle and bustle of the old distillery is now a thing of the past, but many of the farmers’ names live on. So too do the tales of horses and carts clattering across the cobbles of the old Midleton yard and of barley priced in pounds, shillings and pence. Ever more distant memories they may be, but they will always endure; an inspiration and a reminder of a legacy like no other.
AN EARTHLY PASSION
Max Crockett, the forefather of modern Irish whiskey; his son, Barry; Brian Nation and, most recently, Kevin O’Gorman – a roll call of Master Distillers who between them have helped shape the forever unfolding story of Midleton Very Rare. And though in their lifetimes much has changed, the good earth of Ireland and the quality of the barley it begets remains, as much a part of the Midleton legacy as the craftsmanship and creativity that unite the generations of master distillers.
Latest among the Midleton alumni is Kevin O’Gorman. Steeped in the traditions of the distillery, he’s dedicated almost 25 years to expanding his knowledge, honing his skills and pursuing his love of whiskey. From grain to glass, his guardianship is what ensures that Midleton Very Rare continues to be renowned as ‘The Pinnacle of Irish Whiskey’. And, together with his vision, Kevin’s watchfulness brings a new dimension to this, the latest release in a unique collection from the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery.
“The distillers at Old Midleton took every care to ensure the richness of the earth contributed its essential flavour to the grain and, through distillation, to the whiskey itself.”
Barry Crockett – Master Distiller Emeritus
A LIQUID REBORN
Times change and we change with them. The Old Midleton Distillery fell silent many years ago. But the old buildings remain, original pot stills stand tall and aged oak casks stand sentinel, recalling our remarkable history.
And in one quiet corner, undisturbed but not forgotten, lay a whiskey waiting for its moment.
That moment is now.
Emerging from the silence and created from the coming together of distillations that have matured to perfection over 48 years, Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter 4 delivers something old and something new; a contemporary expression of a time-honoured Irish whiskey, as unique as it is special.
A CELEBRATION OF CRAFTSMEN
As unique and as special as the whiskey itself is the glass decanter created to hold the prized liquid. Designed especially to celebrate this rare release, each one is mouth blown – a skill that dates back more than 200 years.
Once carefully shaped, the flowing lines of the design are refined by the specialist craftsmen and women of Ireland’s world famous House of Waterford. Finishing, etching and polishing by hand, their individual attention to detail means each decanter is subtly different but still exudes the artistry and brilliance that are synonymous with the Waterford name.
Master craftsman John Galvin is inspired by the amazing things he sees in the earth. His ideas are forged through a connection with nature; a connection he has channeled to help him create the bespoke cabinets for the fourth release in the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery collection.
Fusing fine craftsmanship and precision engineering, each cabinet is lovingly handmade by Galvin and his team from select lacewood. With its iconic flecking of red and brown, the lacewood’s striking appearance conjures up images of barley fields and so recalls the natural bounty that is at the heart of our whiskey. To finish the cabinets are dressed in premium shagreen leather and enhanced by detailing in sterling silver and oak reclaimed from Irish whiskey vats.
Notes of chocolate dipped honeycomb with caramelised red apples and quince jelly. Luxurious aromas are enhanced by the sweetness of coffee cake and vanilla-scented cream, while earthy fragrances are matched by those of an antique, cedarwood cigar box. Dried flowers, that still carry delicate waves of a floral perfume, add to the array of flavours.
An explosion of fruits at first with fresh plums, peaches, and dried apricot. A hint of chilli oil and grated ginger follows. Delicate oak tannins, perfectly balanced with the fruits and pot still spices, work in harmony with a suggestion of mature Roquefort cheese. Floral and sweet grain whiskey add finesse, making this a wonderfully complex blend that is silk-textured and full-bodied.
Stone fruits and soft spices continue to linger for a time, with the oak tannins quietly fading into the background.