Midleton Distillery Unveils Its Oldest-Ever Whiskey Release

Midleton Distillery Unveils Its Oldest-Ever Whiskey Release

Midleton Very Rare today unveils the fifth chapter in its Silent Distillery Collection. Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Five, a single pot still whiskey crafted with some of the last remaining drops of liquid from the Old Midleton Distillery, which was decommissioned after operating from 1825 to 1975. 

The 49-year-old expression is Midleton’s oldest whiskey to date. Master Distiller Max Crockett originally distilled the liquid in 1973 utilising the world’s largest pot still, often hailed as the 7th wonder of the whiskey world. This exceptional liquid was then left to rest and has been under the careful guardianship of all three of the brand’s subsequent Master Distillers. After almost half a century of aging, this limited-edition release will be available through the brand home and select markets across US, UK, and Europe at RRP €55,000.  

Aged in a historic American ex-bourbon barrel, this exceptionally rare liquid opens with delicate hints of fruit, unveiling layers of peach, apricot, and dates with nuances of sugar-glazed almonds and antique wood. Next, a vibrant medley of stone and citrus fruits bursts forth, enrobing the senses in a silk-like texture. Slowly, the oak's tannins emerge, imparting notes of herbal tea and dark chocolate, harmoniously balanced by the spices of anise and ginger. With each passing moment, the sweetness of salted caramel and toffee apple come to the fore, culminating in a finish that resonates with decades of aging, where the pot still spices and fruits reign supreme as the oak recedes into the background. 

Describing the liquid, Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman shares: 

“Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Five 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."

Expanding upon the rich heritage and generations of craftsmanship captured within Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Five, the barrels chosen by Kevin O'Gorman were married for a final 6 months in cask number 52969. This American ex-bourbon barrel was repaired by Dominic Buckley in the mid-1970s and, as is customary for coopers, he marked it with the Buckley family’s signature “1” stamp as a mark of quality and to ensure its traceability. Buckley's barrel, which endured over 50 years without a single leak, was later inspected and maintained by his son Ger Buckley, the current Master Cooper at Midleton Distillery. Illustrating the meticulous attention to detail and expertise passed down through generations, the Buckley family commitment to coopering adds an unparalleled sense of legacy to the expression and epitomises the essence of excellence that defines the Midleton Very Rare brand. 

Master Cooper Ger Buckley says: 

“I am extremely excited to see the culmination of our family's heritage and craftsmanship captured within Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Five. As a fifth-generation cooper, inspired and trained by my father and my uncle Donal, it is with immense pride that I see our legacy commemorated in this remarkable whiskey.  The marrying cask, marked and repaired by my father Dominic Buckley and subsequently inspected by myself, bears his distinct '1' mark—a symbol of the dedication and meticulous artistry embodied and passed down through my family."

As exquisite as the whiskey it holds, the decanter for Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Five is a true masterpiece. Handblown and etched by the skilled artisans of Waterford Crystal, each decanter is a work of art - subtly unique yet embodying the unparalleled brilliance synonymous with the Waterford name. Meticulously finished and polished by hand, these decanters are a demonstration of the tenacity of Ireland's renowned craftspeople. 

Designed by the esteemed Irish designer John Galvin, inspired by the story of the cooper’s mark and their dedication to quality oak casks, the accompanying cabinet is a marvel of exquisite beauty. Handcrafted from tiger brown oak burr, each cabinet showcases the distinctive rays and flecks of white and red that characterise this prized wood. Complemented by premium Sulky Antiqued white leather, vegetable-tanned for a unique patina that only improves with age, the cabinet exudes timeless elegance. Sterling silver detailing and accents of reclaimed oak from Irish whiskey vats dating 200 years add the perfect finishing touches.

Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Five is bottled at 52.4% ABV and is available to purchase in Ireland, Northern Ireland, USA, France, UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Persian Gulf, Singapore, Global Travel Retail and Irish Distillers’ Brand Homes, at a RRP of €55,000 / USD $55,000.

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