A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
The rare, single cask, single pot still whiskeys have been released under the Midleton brand.
The expressions were created for the new Irish Whiskey Collection shop at the recently opened Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport, and The Celtic Whiskey Shop on Dublin's Dawson Street. They were selected from individual casks by master distiller Barry Crockett as “outstanding expressions of the Midleton style”.
200 bottles of the Terminal 2 release were yielded from cask No 48709. This 19-year-old single pot still whiskey 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% ABV). Each bottle is individually numbered and retails at €260.
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% ABV. 270 individually numbered bottles are to retail at €225 each.
Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard CEO Alex Ricard said: “Connoisseurs of fine spirits have always eagerly awaited the annual vintage release of Midleton Very Rare, and with these new single cask, single pot still expressions, we are giving consumers more opportunities to experience the wonderful whiskey complexities of Midleton. Due to their rarity, we expect a high amount of interest.
“We have enjoyed a close working relationship with The Celtic Whiskey Shop for many years, so we are pleased to be able to offer this rare whiskey as an exclusive to them. We also wanted to mark the opening of Terminal 2 in Dublin, which is great news for both tourism and business in the city, and this wonderful new single cask expression seemed like the perfect opportunity.”