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Irish Distillers unveils Method and Madness range

Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers unit has launched a range of experimental super-premium Irish whiskeys designed to “push the boundaries” of the category, called Method and Madness.

Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in French Chestnut

Comprised of four Irish whiskeys, the range was unveiled last night (22 February) during an event at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin, Ireland.

Taking inspiration from the Shakespearean quote, ‘Though this be madness, yet there is method in it’, Method and Madness reinforces Irish Distillers’ “continued commitment” to experimentation and innovation at the Midleton Distillery.

Single Grain Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Spanish Oak has been matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and finished for 12 months in toasted, virgin Spanish oak from Galicia. The process adds “complexity, cask character and a spicy note” to the liquid.

Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in French Chestnut has been matured in a combination of ex-oloroso Sherry and ex-Bourbon barrels, before being transferred to chestnut casks sourced from the Isére region in France.

Single Malt Irish Whiskey Enhanced With French Limousin Oak

The third offering, Single Malt Irish Whiskey Enhanced With French Limousin Oak, has been initially matured in ex-Bourbon barrels, imparting flavours of “malt and biscuit”, and in a first for the category, has been part-finished in French Limousin oak for one year to add a “lighter, floral and herbal note”.

The limited edition Single Grain Irish Whiskey 31 Year Old has been matured in an ex-Bourbon cask for 31 years. The rare single cask release has developed a “full deep grain character” and on the palate notes of “honey, juicy mango and ripe melon with an endless dark wood and spicy finish”. The expression, which includes three single cask offerings, is bottled without chill filtration and ranges from 51.3%, 51.8% and 52.5% abv.

Brian Nation, master distiller at Irish Distillers, said: “At the Midleton Distillery, we are committed to innovation and experimenting with new whiskey styles. We are also committed to training and nurturing the next generation of Irish whiskey makers and this project really brings that commitment to life.”

Karen Cotter, who joined Irish Distillers as a graduate distiller in 2012, said: “Our micro-distillery in Midleton will act as an experimental hub enabling us to trial and test new spirit types followed by ageing in new cask types. The process will see new Method and Madness releases but also others that may never see the light of day. It’s a really exciting project to be involved with”.

Brendan Buckley, global innovation & prestige whiskeys director at Irish Distillers, added: “At Irish Distillers, we are constantly searching for new ways to bring Irish whiskey to a wider audience.

“Jameson has been the iconic brand which has led the way, supported by niche connoisseur brands such as Redbreast, Spot Range and Midleton Very Rare so with Method and Madness, we are able to not only create an outlet for our whiskey makers to really experiment but also to create a uniquely original brand which will pique the interest of spirits drinkers throughout the world.”

The Method and Madness Single Grain, Single Pot Still and Single Malt Irish Whiskeys are bottled at 46% abv, and are available in the UK, France and Ireland at the respective RRPs of €49, €69 and €79. The 31 Year Old Single Grain will be available in the same markets from April, priced at €1,500.

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