Method and Madness – Review and Tasting Notes

single graingrain

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.

Method and Madness Single Grain, 46% abv, £39.95

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.

Nose: Quite sharp, with nail varnish remover, acetone, vanilla and wood shavings all engulfed in sweet sugary notes. further nosing reveals fresh-cut grass, and a more grassy nature.
Palate: The palate is fiercer and much bigger than the nose : We’re off to a sweet-ish start over here, with vanilla, butterscotch and some white pepper, mint and licorice, some candy, with quite some cinnamon and a touch of ginger powder, more wood and a  certain bite to it.
Finish:  pepper, sawdust, vanilla and wood spice.
A nice fresh whiskey, feels quite young, but much nicer than an entry-level Jameson by any means. I can see myself drinking it on the rocks, or in a cocktail, not a neat sort of whiskey if you ask me.

Score: 78/100

Method and Madness Single Malt, 46% abv, £63.95

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.

Nose :Lovely fruitiness,with orchard fruit mainly peach and apricot, vanilla sweetness and a hint of ripe Melon. A touch of lotus caramel biscuit too.
Palate :Sweeter and lively with more fruit on the palate with melon and grapefruit,golden syrup and sweet nectar, canned peaches too and big vanilla  notes. Yummy
Finish :  Vanilla , spice.
lovely and fruity, with ripe melon and a nice caramelized biscuits backbone, top this with a hint of grapefruit, and it’s a really good whisky, I am quite impressed.

Score: 85/100

Method and Madness Single Pot Still Chestnut Cask , 46 % abv, £56.95

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.

Palate; Richer than the nose (if that’s possible), and lovely with more dried pineapple, some mango, fresh peach , with hints of milk chocolate, vanilla, and  wood spices (cinnamon.clove , nutmeg), a touch of pepper, toffee, Rich,Rich Rich!! I am loving this one.
Finish: Long, sweet , with sweet nectar and  pepper on the linger, then yummy wood.
This was my favourite of the three. It’s so rich, and full of flavours, mango, pineapple, and the sweetness, and depth is quite inspiring.

Score: 88/100


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.


4 thoughts on “Method and Madness – Review and Tasting Notes

  1. Picked up a bottle of this after reading the review and have to say that it is a cracking whisky, one of the highlights of the year so far. Very aromatic and loads of lovely flavors to enjoy, will be interested to see what these guys come up with in the future, sweet chestnut finish – whoever would have thought it?

    1. Picked up a bottle of the pot still version,. Maybe my pallette is off, but blind I would have said it was a rye whiskey – the same almost-but-not-quite bourbon sweet woodiness, and menthol / eucalytus notes.

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