Two Irish whiskey expressions from 2015, Midleton Dair Ghaelach and Green Spot Château Léoville Barton, are headed to American shores. Midleton Dair Ghaelach is the first ever Irish Whiskey from the Midleton distillery to be finished in virgin Irish Oak hogsheads, and Green Spot Château Léoville Barton, the first Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey to be finished in Bordeaux wine casks, bring a new dimension to the classic expressions renowned among whiskey connoisseurs for their exceptional quality.
Midleton Dair Ghaelach, meaning ‘Irish oak’, was the result of a six-year exploration by the Midleton Masters into using native oak to mature Irish whiskey. Analysis shows that the Irish oak enhances the whiskey with notes of vanilla, caramel and chocolate and perfectly balance the classically rich, spicy Single Pot Still taste profile.
In collaboration with professional Irish forestry consultants, Midleton sourced oak exclusively from sustainable Irish Oak forests to construct the casks for the first in a series of virgin oak releases in the coming years. Each bottle can be traced back to one of ten 130-year old Irish oak trees.
At Midleton, a selection of traditional Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey distillates, matured for between 15 and 22 years in ex-Bourbon casks, were married together before being filled into the Irish Oak Hogsheads. The whiskeys were nosed and tasted each month until judged to be beautifully balanced with just the perfect contribution of Irish oak.
Midleton Dair Ghaelach was listed as the top Irish whiskey and the third-best whiskey in the world by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016. Given how controversial his first and second choices were, many pundits have taken to referring to Dair Ghaelach as “the world’s best by default.”
Green Spot Château Léoville Barton was the first ever Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey to be finished in Bordeaux wine casks. Set in the heart of the revered Saint Julien appellation in Bordeaux, Léoville Barton is a grand cru Château renowned for producing world-class wine.
Green Spot Château Léoville Barton is initially matured in a traditional mix of ex-Oloroso sherry, new Bourbon and ex-Bourbon barrels and then transferred into the ex-Bordeaux wine casks for between 12 and 24 months. Maturing Green Spot in the Château Léoville Barton wine casks provides a fascinating assortment of floral and wood characteristics on the nose and palate, which give way to a perfectly balanced whiskey with a long, spicy finish reminiscent of the terroir in France and Ireland.
“For more than 30 years, the Midleton Distillery has been admired for its distillers’ dedication to excellence in Irish craftsmanship and the release of Midleton Dair Ghaelach and Green Spot Château Léoville Barton continues this rich tradition,” said Billy Leighton, Master Blender at the Midleton Distillery. “The process of maturing in native oak and ex-Bordeaux casks has enabled us to showcase our Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey style in a new and innovative way which we hope whiskey lovers will appreciate and enjoy.”
Both of these coveted products will have very limited availability.
Bottled at cask strength between 58.1 and 58.5% ABV without the use of chill filtration, Midleton Dair Ghaelach is available beginning mid-February at the suggested retail price of $269.99 per 750ml.
Bottled at 46% ABV, Green Spot Château Léoville Barton is available beginning mid-February at the suggested retail price of $99.99 per 750ml.