Method and Madness Rye and Malt Expression Hits The U.S.
March 1, 2023 –––––– Julia Higgins
The Irish Distillers Micro Distillery, an experimental center on the campus of the giant Midleton Distillery in County Cork, has released interesting and unusual whiskeys since it began in 2015, mainly under the Method & Madness name. Its kaleidoscope of expressions has featured cask types including mulberry, cherry, acacia, Japanese cedar, French chestnut, and many others, as well as mashbills of oats and malt, single grain, and single pot still. But precious few of these intriguing items have reached U.S. shores.
The latest Method & Madness expression, Method & Madness Rye and Malt, is being made available as a U.S. exclusive. This whiskey originally launched in Ireland and other European markets back in 2021, but that expression was double-distilled, while this one is triple-distilled. Only a small amount—5,000 bottles—is being released for this U.S. exclusive, in keeping with the small, quirky nature of the Method and Madness project.
This new whiskey is the first to be wholly distilled and aged at the Micro Distillery, which is led by Katherine Condon. The others were developed there but distilled at the main distillery next door, which is normally busy with such famous names as Jameson, Redbreast, Powers, The Spots, and Midleton Very Rare. And as the name suggests, the new release combines 60% rye and 40% malted barley, a combination not previously used by Irish Distillers in any of its whiskeys. After its triple distillation, Method and Madness Rye and Malt was aged for just over 6 years in bourbon barrels. While the whiskey was bottled at cask strength, it comes in at a mellow 92 proof.
As for previous Method and Madness releases in the U.S., in September 2020 came three limited editions–a single grain, single malt, and single pot still. More recent innovative cask finishes from Method and Madness have included the 33 year old Mizunara Cask Finish, Japanese Chestnut Finish, and Wild Cherry Wood Finish.