Whisky Advocate

Irish whiskey lovers: two rare Midleton single casks

January 16th, 2011

 Over the many years, I’ve often asked my friends at the Midleton Distillery (makers of the annual vintage release of Midleton Very Rare, Jameson, Redbreast, Power’s, Paddy, etc.) if they could bottle the Midleton Very Rare at a higher strength than 40% ABV. Well, they’re doing it now, but you are going to have work at getting a bottle. (Especially considering I’m a little late getting this information to you. Sorry about that.)

They have introduced two new single cask Midleton Very Rare whiskeys. One is available in Terminal 2 at the Dublin airport, while the other is available at Dublin’s Celtic Whiskey Shop.

A producer always takes a risk when introducing single cask whiskies (Highland Park and Glenfarclas come to mind), because each cask varies in flavor and might alienate  some enthusiasts. I think, in the long run,  we are all the better for it.

I hope we see more interesting releases from the Midleton Distillery–and with broader distribution. They have the potential to make so many great whiskeys (with so much variety). The more the merrier.

I don’t normally post up press releases, but I”ll do it here (along with a photo).

Post update: One thing I forgot to emphasize initially–and this is important: these two new Midleton whiskeys are Pure Pot Still whiskeys. They are not a blend of PPS whiskeys and grain whiskeys, like the standard annual Midleton release. So, in this regard, these new Midleton releases are a kin to Redbreast and Greenspot.

New Exclusive Single Pot Still Whiskey Releases from Midleton

Midleton is synonymous with its annual vintage releases of the exquisite Midleton Very Rare blend but the renowned Co. Cork Distillery has now added to its limited releases of Single Pot Still whiskeys under the Midleton brand name with two new expressions which have been launched this month.

Both whiskeys are Single Cask bottlings destined for two individual retailers – the new Irish Whiskey Collection shop at the recently opened Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport and for the Celtic Whiskey Shop on Dublin’s Dawson St.   The two casks were personally selected by Master Distiller, Barry Crockett, as outstanding expressions of the Midleton pot still style.

The Terminal 2 release is a 19 year old pot still whiskey which was laid down in November, 1991 in a first fill American bourbon barrel and has, in a new departure for the Midleton brand, been bottled at cask strength (53.7%).  The cask strength affords the whiskey connoisseur the rare opportunity to experience a Midleton pot still whiskey as it emerges directly from the cask.  The tasting notes for the whiskey reveal a dark, fleshy fruit character in perfect balance with the underlying pot still spiciness.   The impressive presentation box includes a portion of stave from the barrel in which the whiskey spent its life maturing so that on opening the box, one can literally smell the whiskey.  Only 200 bottles were yielded from this Single Cask.

The Celtic Whiskey Shop release was laid down in December, 1996, also in a first fill American bourbon barrel and has been bottled at 46%.  This is a slightly lighter style pot still distillate with green apples and banana to the fore.  270 bottles were realised from this particular cask. 

Each bottle is individually numbered with the Terminal 2 expression retailing at €260 and the Celtic Whiskey Shop expression retailing at €225.

16 Responses to “Irish whiskey lovers: two rare Midleton single casks”

  1. Rick H says:

    There’s no way to purchase these unless you happen to be traveling through Dublin? I was just there in June but won’t be back any time soon. Travel retail releases irk me for that reason.

  2. JohnM says:

    The Celtic Whiskey Shop will post to the U.S.

    I think we can expect a few more different releases from Midleton. They’re working on a good few things.


  3. Luke says:

    The Irish Whiskey Society has a “Terminal 2” tasting at the end of this month where, hopefully, samples of the above 19-Year-Old will be on offer.

    If it is we’ll be sure to let you know our first impressions.

  4. John Hansell says:

    One thing I forgot to emphasize in my original post–and this is important: these two new Midleton whiskeys are Pure Pot Still whiskeys. They are not a blend of PPS whiskeys and grain whiskeys, like the standard annual Midleton release.

    So, in this regard, these new Midleton releases are a kin to Redbreast and Greenspot.

    (I’ve also updated my original post to reflect this.)

  5. JC Skinner says:

    So. Much. Want.

    Scary prices, but I’ve sort of come to expect that for top-end Irish pure pot still. In fact, these two could almost be considered reasonably priced compared to some.
    Am keenly awaiting trying the Terminal 2 bottling if the IWS can manage to swing a bottle for their forthcoming tasting.
    The two previous single Midleton casks (blended rather than pure PPS) bottled by the Celtic Whiskey Shop have been superb, and I’d expect nothing less from a PPS version. I may have to beg, borrow or steal the money to try this one out too.

    • Luke says:

      JC, as the nearest equivalent, 12 Year Old Green Spot (58% ABV), is €850 a bottle the €260 starts to look like a bargain.

      That said, one bottle wouldn’t be enough…

      P.S. I didn’t open that bottle of 2009 CWS Midleton PPS at Christmas due to the ‘flu – We’ll have to concoct a good reason to open it…

      P.P.S. Only the first CWS Midleton was a blend, all subsequent bottlings have been PPS.

  6. JohnM says:

    I think last year’s bottling from the Celtic Whiskey Shop was also a pure pot still. The first year’s one one was a single cask, but the cask contained grain and pps whiskey. That was my preferred one of the first two.


  7. JohnM says:

    When I say last year’s bottling, I mean the one for Christmas2009. They’ve done three – the first is the blend and the next two are pure pot stills.

    I also think IDL are moving to a different term for Pure pot still. Something like “traditional pot still” whiskey.

  8. JC Skinner says:

    Cooley may have won the argument there on the PPS debate, I suppose.
    Didn’t realise 2009’s Midleton single cask was PPS. Like yourself, I prefered the 2008, which was blended then casked.

  9. Fionnan O'Connor says:

    My god, that sounds delicious. I’m heartbroken that i wont be in Dublin for the IWS tasting. As for the rampant value creation of 260 euros, its certainly frustrating to those of us with hand-sized pockets but actually much lower, as has been pointed out, than the usual par for the course for special PPS bottlings (Greenspot 12 for example will double that figure for you and wont even pay you the courtesy of more than 40% ABV)

  10. tony burke says:

    is it worth metioning, that there are only 216 bottles of the 1991 produced ?

    will it increase in value? (I bought 2 botles yesterday)

  11. Bill Orr says:

    I am interested in any of these afore mentioned bottles that may be available in miniature size….

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