Irish Distillers today launches the new Midleton Very Rare 2022, an annual vintage release the popularity of which has grown enormously in recent years. This 39th edition of the Midleton Very Rare 2022 was created by Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman and his team of whiskey makers at Midleton Distillery in Ireland.
Whereas the Midleton Very Rare has always been presented as a luxury whiskey, it wasn’t until a few years ago that it really began to take off. Now it has caught the attention of flippers and investors alike, who have been scooping up whichever previous editions were still available. While the Midleton Very Rare isn’t performing in the same way that certain Macallan releases are, it has still been remarkable to see the sudden rise in attention this Irish whiskey has gotten. And no, I don’t think that’s a good thing.
As always, the new Midleton Very Rare is a blend of single pot still and single grain whiskeys from Midleton Distillery inventory. The whiskeys are between 12 and 33 years old and matured in lightly charred first fill and refill ex-bourbon American oak barrels.
“As with any Midleton Very Rare Vintage, we start the search for our perfect components many months in advance, in a bid to create the luxurious, balanced aroma and taste profile for which this annual release is renowned,” explains O’Gorman in a prepared statement. “Drawing predominantly from our historic A2 warehouse, we have selected a blend of whiskeys that work together beautifully – from superb grain whiskeys dating back to 1989 with beautiful floral and rosewater notes, to some truly wonderful pot still whiskeys from 2009 that offer a delightful fruit element with citrus.”
O’Gorman and his team have been working on the new Midleton Very Rare 2022 since the summer of 2021. Hundreds of casks were sampled before settling on three prototypes that were all deemed worthy. The final decision fell to the Master Distiller, who brought all three iterations of the Midleton Very Rare 2022 at home for a weekend of tasting.
“We were delighted to create three incredibly strong liquids for consideration, all worthy of becoming a Midleton Very Rare annual vintage,” adds O’Gorman about the Midleton Very Rare 2022. “In the end, I kept returning to the vintage we are launching today, a stunning whiskey bursting with notes of fruit and citrus, a palate of caramelised red apples, orange zest with luscious, sweet, decadent waves of crème brûlée, and culminating in a rich and lasting finish.”
Midleton Very Rare 2022 Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Fruit-led introduction with fresh citrus notes of mandarin and candied apple, while dustings of white pepper with grated nutmeg deliver subtle levels of spice that complement the rich and velvety tones of hazelnut chocolate and toffee. Carefully balanced, the charred oak works in tandem with the elegant grain character, elevating the delicate and nuanced fresh floral tones with the addition of sweet vanilla and warming toasted wood aromas.
Taste: Caramelised red apples and orange zest with luscious, sweet, and decadent waves of crème brûlée that seamlessly intertwine with the pot still spices and cereal undertones, creating an intriguing and wonderful medley of fruits and spices.
Finish: Rich and lasting finish in which the grain and pot still spices are the first to softly fade, allowing the oak – after years of carefully maturing the spirit – to have the final say.
The Midleton Very Rare 2022 is bottled at just 40% (which has been the most inexcusable for years). It’ll be available today from the Midleton webshop, and in the coming months in the USA, Canada, Global Travel Retail, Europe, Australia, and Asia at the RRP of €200.