SILENT DISTILLERY COLLECTION CHAPTER 3
A WONDER OF THE WHISKEY WORLD
It was a sight to behold. A colossus that caught the eye and fired the imagination. Made from sheets of gleaming copper, it was assembled and installed at Old Midleton Distillery in 1854 by local craftsmen and said to be the largest pot still in the world. Under the watchful eyes and in the skilled hands of the ‘fire men’, whose job was to precisely control its temperature, the still could heat more than 30,000 gallons of liquid in a single day.
The roar of its fires finally silenced in 1975, the still remains in the grounds of the Distillery; a monument to the origins of Midleton Very Rare – The Pinnacle of Irish Whiskey. Its trailblazing story also serves as an inspiration for the third release from the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery – the oldest ever collection of Irish whiskey.
GURDIANS OF THE LEGACY
It’s a passion perhaps as fiery as the flames that once blazed under the old pot still; the passion for perfection that has inspired our Master Distillers for generations. Their legacy and their flair endure to this day and, combined with the spirit of innovation, they’re epitomised in the extraordinary stories of past masters like Max Crockett, the forefather of modern Irish whiskey; his son Barry, the creator of Midleton Very Rare; by Brian Nation and now by Master Distiller, Kevin O’Gorman.
After almost a quarter of a century at the Midleton Distillery learning the finer points of whiskey production, from grain to glass, Kevin is proud to have taken up the mantle of his illustrious predecessors. Sparked by their wisdom, their creativity and vision, he has added his own inimitable touch to this, the latest distillation in a unique collection, and created a Midleton Very Rare worthy of its place at the pinnacle of Irish whiskeys.
A BURNING PASSION
Just as the fires that fuelled the original pot still worked their wonders, so too does the searing heat of the glass maker’s furnace. It’s a place where a science and an art almost as old as time are fused together; a place where glass, made molten by temperatures of over 1000 degrees celsius, is skilfully mouth-blown and gently coaxed into shape to form the decanters created especially for this unique whiskey. Individually finished, etched and polished at Ireland’s world-renowned House of Waterford, no two decanters are the same but they are bound by a passion for hand craftsmanship, artistic excellence and Waterford’s trademark brilliance.
A THING OF RARE BEAUTY
Master craftsman John Galvin was born little more than a stone’s throw from Old Midleton Distillery. And, when commissioned to create the cabinets for the third release from the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery collection, he returned to his roots for inspiration and in particular to the distillery’s grounds and the world’s largest pot still. His imagination ignited by the artistry behind the still’s construction, by the detail and the patina wrought by the passing of the years, Galvin crafted each bespoke cabinet from elm burr. The ancient wood, as rare as it is precious, evokes the remarkable story of the highly prized Midleton Single Pot Still Irish whiskey. Its distinctive markings, meanwhile, recall the flames that once warmed the old pot still. Embellishments, meticulously fabricated by Galvin and his team, are made from sterling silver, from oak reclaimed from Irish whiskey vats, and from the finest quality leather that also features a hand-etched illustration by award-winning Irish artist, David Rooney.
The first impression is a rich medley of forest fruits. Notes of sugar-glazed cherries, earthy and toffee tones of muscovado sugar and almond flake follow, complementing the oak’s enduring influence on the spirit. Aromas reminiscent of worn, leather-bound ledgers and pipe tobacco linger, while measured levels of pot still spices add their own delicate presence.
Opens with a luxuriously rich and full-bodied texture accompanied by notes of freshly brewed dark roasted coffee, caramelised fruits, crushed pistachio and hazelnut. Hints of dried herbs and peppermint add further complexity, along with the oak’s soft tannins and subtle pot still spices.
A lasting finish finds soft fruits and old pot still spices lingering in harmony with the oak and emphasises how decades of undisturbed ageing can create such balance and complexity.