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Method and Madness unveils ‘world first’ wild cherry wood finish

Irish Distillers has added two limited edition single pot still Irish whiskeys to its Method and Madness range – including a wild cherry wood-finished “world first” for the category.

Method and Madness has revealed two new single pot still Irish whiskeys, finished in wild cherry wood and acacia wood casks

Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Wild Cherry Wood was matured in nine casks made from wild cherry wood, sourced from France, for between seven and four years following a maturation period in ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks. The whiskey is said to have flavours of shredded ginger, coconut and black tea.

Bottled at 46% ABV, the expression will be made available in six markets – including Ireland, the UK and global travel retail – from September 2019, priced at RRP €92 (US$101).

Kevin O’Gorman, master of maturation at Midleton Distillery, said: “Since 2014, our research into maturation in different wood types has challenged our expertise and approach to whiskey-making – but none so much as our experimentations with wild cherry casks.

“The rare, porous wood is different to anything that we have handled before, so it has been a real achievement to create the perfect balance of flavour – the result is a world-first in Irish whiskey, with a nose of coconut fibre and ginger, a palate of fresh green herbs, black tea and unmistakable pot still spices and a long, fresh finish with prickly spice and hazelnut.”

The range will also be joined by Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Acacia Wood.

The whiskey was rested in the acacia wood barrels, also sourced from France, for between one and four years, following time spent in ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks.

The expression is described as having notes of nuts and chocolate flavours. Bottled at 46% ABV, it is available exclusively through the Celtic Whiskey Shop in Ireland from September 2019, priced at RRP €92 (US$101).

Finbarr Curran, member of the maturation research team at Midleton Distillery, said: “Method and Madness aims to push the boundaries of Irish whiskey and the Irish spirits category through innovative releases and it has been a real honour to work closely with Kevin in order to craft these two new whiskeys.

“The density of the acacia wood presented a challenge in contrast to the wild cherry wood as the maturation process was much slower and required a close eye and nose to achieve the perfect balance.

“But it was well worth the wait. This stunning single pot still Irish whiskey has a nose of sugared almonds and wood spice, a palate of coffee beans, dark chocolate and chilli and a finish with fading spice, charred wood and barley husk.”

The Jameson maker launched the super-premium Method and Madness range in February 2017 ­– designed to “push the boundaries” of Irish whiskey.

The range was joined by two new expressions in May last year: a single pot still finished in Hungarian oak and a 28-year-old ruby Port pipe single cask. Method and Madness also moved into gin earlier this year.

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