Irish whisky is the rage right now, if you have not noticed, and as new distilleries are opened in Ireland, Irish whiskey exports are up, It’s certainly good times for Irish whiskey lovers, and Irish whisky makers. Irish distillers (makers of Jameson, in case you’re not familiar with them) have recently introduced M&M a new range of experimental super premium whiskeys ‘designed to push the boundaries of Irish whiskey’. M&M launches with a series of four unique whiskeys that underpin a continued commitment by Irish Distillers to experimentation and innovation at the home of Irish whiskey in Midlelton, Co. Cork, Ireland.
M&M aims to harness the creativity of Midleton’s whiskey masters through the fresh talent of its apprentices. Taking inspiration from the famous Shakespearean quote, ‘Though this bemadness, yet there is method in ’t’, M&M is designed to reflect a next generation Irish spirit brand with a measure of curiosity and intrigue (MADNESS), while honouring the tradition and expertise grounded in the generations of expertise at the Midleton Distillery (METHOD).
The METHOD AND MADNESS range launches with four new Irish Whiskeys, each with its own twist: a Single Grain Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Spanish Oak; a Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in French Chestnut, a Single Malt Irish Whiskey enhanced with French Limousin Oak and a 31 Year Old Single Cask, Single Grain Limited Edition bottled at cask strength. Interesting times!
I was fortunate to have received a tasting kit of the first three releases (sadly, not the 31 year old single cask which is quite limited in quantity), and I was quite curious to see what Irish distillers have under their sleeve, there’s certainly a feeling of change and initiative in the air, and It’s just lovely to see Irish whisky becoming INTERESTING again, with new wood profiles and whisky distillation profiles.
We’ll start with the single grain, What’s interesting in this one that it is the same spirit as that used for Jameson and the batch used was all distilled in 2008. The liquid was matured in re-fill American oak casks before being transferred to the virgin Spanish oak butts, which had undergone a medium toasting, for about 12 months.
This whiskey was created from triple distilled single malt that was produced in 2002. This had followed traditional maturation before being transferred to Limousin casks.
Quite an interesting wood profile on this one : The whiskey was matured predominantly in ex-bourbon American oak with a small percentage of ex-sherry casks, before being transferred for a shorter period into chestnut casks (this is not scotch, where chestnut cask maturation would be illegal).
Nose: Rich and sweet on the nose, with quite a lot of wood in it, there’s a nice spiciness as well, a hint of eucalyptus , pepper and more golden syrup licorice, and dried pineapple.
Good work Irish distiller’s on this one, with a very un-conventional wood regime, they have created a lovely collection of highly interesting whiskies, with the single malt and single pot still really impressing. I woner how the older single grain is (should be fab!), hope to try some eventually.