New Dair Ghaelach Collection Announced

New Dair Ghaelach Collection Announced

Irish Distillers has today introduced the fifth addition to the Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach collection, Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Kilranelagh Wood. This expression, finished in Kilranelagh Estate’s virgin Irish oak, unfolds a captivating narrative of floral honey and cinnamon spice with a full-bodied nature that adds another remarkable chapter to the Dair Ghaelach legacy.

The Midleton Dair Ghaelach series, with Irish words ‘Dair Ghaelach’ translating simply to ‘Irish oak’, is the result of a six-year exploration led by Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman to unveil the potential of native Irish oak in the maturation of Irish whiskey. When embarking on this journey, the project rested on two principles: sustainably sourcing Irish oak for long-term viability working with our forestry partners for each release and creating an unparalleled style of Irish single pot still whiskey.

Continuing this mission, the Kilranelagh Estate, nestled in Wicklow's rolling hills, became the focal point for the fifth chapter. From the native woodland carefully managed since the 1600s, six impressive Irish oak trees were chosen by Midleton Master Cooper Ger Buckley and Forest Sector Manager and Consultant Paddy Purser to craft the Hogshead casks. Through diligently processing the wood, each bottle of Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Kilranelagh Wood can be traced right back to the very oak tree that helped to create its refined and unmistakable taste. 

Incorporating a symphony of light, medium, and heavy styles of single pot still initially aged in American oak bourbon barrels, the liquid was then laid to finish maturing in the Irish oak Hogshead casks. To ensure the optimal final expression, O’Gorman and Blender David McCabe kept a vigilant watch on the development of the liquid, nosing and tasting each batch monthly. After twenty months, it was deemed that the Irish oak influence had struck the perfect balance with the single pot still character, creating an irresistible whiskey that is as satisfyingly Irish as it is undeniably elegant.

Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman emphasises:

In the Dair Ghaelach series, we're always looking to discover the finest Irish oak amidst Ireland's natural beauty, and the Kilranelagh estate stands as a testament to this quest. With the initial aging in American oak bourbon barrels already allowing the single pot still to develop a wonderfully complex flavour, it was crucial that we carefully managed the final maturation to ensure the flavours imparted by the Kilranelagh Irish oak worked in harmony with those already present to elevate the expression. The whiskey has been bottled at its cask strengths, ranging from 56.8% to 57.5% ABV, allowing the unique influence from each tree to reach its pinnacle.

The result is an elegant whiskey, where each sip embodies the rich and spicy character of single pot still Irish whiskey, harmoniously fused with the refreshing essence of Ireland's native oak from the Kilranelagh estate. 

Blender Dave McCabe adds:

Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Kilranelagh Wood provides a robust and lively opening with the recognisable warming spices of the single pot still married with a subtle vanilla skew from the initial aging in American bourbon casks. This is followed by a mellowing on the palate which allows the influence of the Kilranelagh estate virgin Irish oak to shine. Contributing notes of fresh pine, floral honey, and tropical fruits alongside distinctive aromas of smoked almonds and sweet cinnamon, the Irish oak influence is one of vibrancy. The whiskey then concludes with a wonderfully long finish which sees the pot still spices and oak effortlessly linger for a truly unique drinking experience.

Combining the tradition of Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach with the commitment to improve sustainability, the fifth expression is now showcased in fully recyclable luxury packaging*. Designed by David Rooney, award winning Irish artist and illustrator, the emerald box is a canvas that reveals an immersive tale inspired by the unique flora and native fauna of the Kilranelagh Estate. In his design, Rooney highlights the rare Irish mountain hare, a native species with roots dating back to the Celts. Standing the test of time, the Irish mountain hare is still commonly spotted within the estate and continues to stand as a powerful symbol of abundance, prosperity, and good fortune.

Driven by a passion for sustaining and future proofing the flourishing Irish oak forests, as well as the sustained viability of cooperage opportunities, Irish Distillers is actively engaged with the Forest Genetic Resources Trust to devise and implement a regenerative programme. The programme will be designed to provide support for existing Irish oak forests, whilst enabling the creation of new woodlands, thereby securing the vitality of Irish oak for the years to come. 
Dr Eugene Hendrick, Chairman of the Forest Genetic Resources Trust shares:

We are working to conserve and use the best oak in Irish forestry, for the production of high quality oak timber, and we are delighted to be collaborating with Irish Distillers in these endeavours. Our use of a wide range of selected oak parent trees will provide for diverse and resilient future forests, which will help to restore oak resources in Ireland and contribute quality wood for whiskey coopering and other end uses for generations to come.

Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Kilranelagh Wood is available at varying cask strengths in Ireland, UK, France, Brand Homes, USA and China from 28th November 2023, RRP: €440 per 70cl. Fully recyclable in Ireland and other markets where recycling facilities are available.

Midleton Very Dair Ghaelach Kilranelagh Wood Official Tasting Notes

Nose: Forest notes of fresh pine accompanied by floral honey and ground pepper at first, while sweet and tropical fruits can be detected amongst the herbal green tea and freshly mown hay. The use of the native Irish oak lends itself to creating distinctive aromas of smoked almonds with sweet vanilla and cinnamon that are complemented by the pot still savoury spices.

Taste: Robust and lively at first with notes of dried chilli flakes and red bell peppers which quickly soften, allowing notes of candied orange and crisp red apple to shine through. The oak continues to deliver sweet vanilla and cinnamon spice throughout, while the pot still spices add a hearty and full-bodied nature to this complex and intricate whiskey.

Finish: Wonderfully long finish which sees the pot still spices and oak linger, almost effortlessly, for an age.

Be the first to hear about new Irish whiskeys. No spam, just whiskey.