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For hundreds of thousands of years, wood has helped shape the forever unfolding story of humankind. It’s fueled the fires that give warmth and light. It’s offered shelter and comfort, cooked food and made water pure. From the sailing ships that transported the first explorers on their voyages of discovery to the musical instruments that soothe us, from a sheet of paper to boxes, barrels and chests, ‘universally beautiful’ wood is one of nature’s greatest and most enduring gifts.

And sometimes one of its most surprising.

Take the part wood has played in helping our Master Distillers to age and blend the oldest ever collection of Irish whiskey. Wooden casks are at its heart, each one with its own unique character, defined by its history and liberated in each new release including this, the fifth release from the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery collection.


The spoke shave, also known as the swift. The lever or dog. The horse, the draw knife, the compass, the croze, the axe, the anvil  and the adze. These are just some of the tools of the cooper’s trade and no-one knows them better than Ger Buckley, Master Cooper at Midleton Distillery.

Ger’s is a time-honoured skill, little changed since the days of the Roman Empire and, now as then, everything from shaping the wooden staves to sealing each barrel’s head with reeds is
done by hand and by eye.

It’s a legacy Ger cherishes as much as the tools he uses to keep the craft alive. Passed down through generations of his family, well used and word, they’re as precious and as irreplaceable as the cooper’s art itself; an art which, together with the skills of our Master Distillers – men like Kevin O’Gorman and his esteemed predecessors – has weaved a magic all on its own for 200 years.


Kevin O'Gorman – Master Distiller

“Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter 5 embodies a captivating tale that celebrates the convergence of the finest wood, exceptional whiskey, and indomitable spirit of the master craftsmen who sit at the heart of the Old Midleton Distillery’s legacy. The result is truly remarkable, offering an exceptional liquid that exceeds expectations and promises an unforgettable experience. I eagerly invite whiskey enthusiasts to indulge in this exceptional liquid and discover the captivating history that accompanies the expression as they savour every sip.”

Kevin O’Gorman – Master Distiller

The Old Midleton Distillery fell silent many years ago, but its spirit survives. It endures in the hearts and minds of the people who work there. It lives on in the cobbled yards, in the old buildings, the original pot stills and aged oak casks. Casks like the one our Master Distiller, Kevin O’Gorman, selected to marry the distillations that for almost half a century have been maturing to perfection, undisturbed in a quiet corner of the old distillery. 

Originally distilled by Max Crockett, then watched over by his successors – first by his son, Barry, then by Brian Nation and finally by Kevin O’Gorman – this notable liquid demanded a final nurturing in an equally notable cask. Trusted with its selection, O’Gorman chose an ex-bourbon cask originally imported from the United States. Made from American oak, it was repaired by Ger Buckley’s father in the mid-1970s and to this day proudly bears the Buckley mark. A true testament to the cooper’s skill, through rain and shine it’s stood the test of time, not leaking once in 50 years.

So it is that wood, whiskey and masters of their craft who come together to create Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter 5, an Irish whiskey as unique as it is special.


The mastery which went into this prestigious whiskey deserved a vessel as impressive as the liquid itself. To honour the penultimate release of our Silent Distillery Collection, a glass decanter was created to hold the prized liquid. Designed especially to celebrate this rare release, this vessel has been mouth blown, a skill that dates back more than 2,000 years.

Just like the vessel, the cabinet which holds our Silent Distillery Chapter 5 whiskey is a masterpiece in and of itself. Created by John Galvin, a master craftsman with a passion for wood, precision engineering and highly considered, contemporary design. John and the team at his award-winning workshop have crafted the perfect cabinet for this rare and prestigious whiskey.

Rarity and luxury are what a Midleton Very Rare whiskey is known for, and as part of our oldest and most revered collection, we ensure that each part of the release is as exquisite as the last. While the whiskey speaks for itself, with the help of the master craftsmen and women in Ireland’s world-famous House of Waterford, and master craftsman John Galvin, renowned wood maker, and his team, from the vessel which holds this precious liquid to the cabinet which encases this history, the entire offering is a feast for all the senses.



Delicate hints of fruit at first, with peach, apricot and dates to the fore. Notes of sugar glazed almonds, worn leather and antique wood add to the complexity. Indulgent sweet tones of treacle toffee, vanilla essence and heather honey work in harmony with the earthy woodland aromas and light dustings of white pepper which quietly linger in the background.


Opens with a vibrant medley of stone and citrus fruits, enhanced by the pot still whiskey’s luscious and silk-coating texture. The oak’s tannins slowly build, adding notes of herbal tea and dark chocolate, while the spices of anise and ginger perfectly complement the sweet undertones of salted caramel and toffee apple.


A lingering finish in which decades of aging has developed intense and rich flavours, leaving the pot still spices and fruits to have the final say as the oak slowly fades.