Irish Distillers wants to ‘challenge perceptions’ with its new experimental whiskeys

Irish Distillers has added two experimental, single-pot still whiskeys to its Method and Madness range.

The first Irish whiskey is finished in Hungarian oak casks, made with wood sourced from the Carpathian Mountain range, while the second is a 28-year-old expression matured in ruby port barrels.

The Virgin Hungarian Oak version’s casks have been used to “slowly impart complex compounds” into the spirit, according to the drinks giant.

The whiskey, a single pot still distillate, was first matured in a combination of first-fill and re-fill American oak barrels, before finishing in the virgin Hungarian oak for 11 months.

Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation at Midleton Distillery, said the team were “especially intrigued by the Quercus Petraea from North East Hungary and the unique properties that it could add to our flavour repertoire as whiskey makers.”

“At Midleton Distillery over the past few years, we have been experimenting with Hungarian virgin oak casks – a trial and error process that we are incredibly proud to have finally mastered. The result is a new first for Irish whiskey that continues to challenge perceptions of what the category can be.”

The second bottle, meanwhile, is a single pot still Irish whiskey matured initially for six years in American oak barrels, before being re-casked into a Ruby Port pipe for a further 22 years.

Dave McCabe, apprentice blender, said that he was satisfied the team had “achieved balance” between the port and whiskey flavours after years of trial and error.

“Billy Leighton, our Master Blender, and I have been carefully monitoring the slowly evolving flavours of this rare and exceptional cask as part of my training as Apprentice Blender.”

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