Midleton Very rare 2020

Yesterday saw the launch of this year’s Midleteon ‘Very Rare. This rare whiskey is part of the 37th edition in the world-renowned and highly collectible range, and each whiskey has been traditionally hand selected to include the most exceptional quality single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys laid down over the last 4 decades.

As Brian hands the baton over to Kevin O’Gorman this edition marks the end of a successful era and the beginning of another in the world of Irish whiskey, with Kevin revealing the Midleton Very Rare 2021 in spring next year.

I was lucky enough to participate in an online Zoom tasting with both Kevin O’Gorman, Master Distiller and Dave McCabe, Blender at Midleton to taste, discuss and enjoy this new edition.

Midleton Very Rare 2020, 40% abv , € 180

Nose: Very nice and classy, with oodles of vanilla and nice oak, fruity as well with ripe banana orchard fruit (pear, apricot, peaches) and ripe orange peel, maybe some tangerines as well. The oak is strong with this one… and I am very happy with such lovely notes of polished oak, maybe a touch of guava, then wood spices kick in. Certainly high-quality wood.

Palate: Quite a light mouthfeel, mainly due to the 40% abv… More fruit and with the Peach/citrus fruit {ripe oranges, tangerines}, and a touch of the exotics (imagine pineapple bits, guavas, coconut). Alongside the fruit, the vanilla ice cream comes through, and finishing with a more spicy profile, with wood spices and ground pepper.

Finish: Medium, with more of the vanilla ice cream, wood spices, and dried banana.

Conclusion: This is a yummy whisky, Yet It feels a bit weak on the palate. During the tasting, I asked both Kevin and Dave about their decision to bottle this at 40% abv, and not a notch higher. It seems consistency is very important to them and to keep that consistent, they are not considering upping the ante and bottling it at say 46%, 48%, or even Cask Strength. I would have loved to see this one getting bottled at a higher ABV (just like Midleton Dair Ghaelach reviewed here not long ago), it would be 90’s material – I am quite sure. At any rate, very good stuff, with a nose I liked better than the palate, but that is also very very good.

Score: 86/100


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