||Ex-bourbon casks; Virgin spanish oak finish|
|Distiller||Midleton (Midleton, Ireland)|
Method & Madness is a very interesting brand coming from Midleton, taking a creative and innovative angle on Irish whisky doing all sorts of interesting stuff like finishing in cherry wood and chestnut. This one takes what is known as a “single grain whisky” in Scotland and Ireland- essentially, a whisky made from a grain different than malt. Typically corn or wheat is used, because they are cheaper grains and they are distilled to be very light in character - to be a base for blends. So finishing in virgin oak will amp up oak characteristics, dissolved into the whisky, without a long maturation in new oak.
Bottling Code: L919931457 07:24 18/07/19
Bottling Date: 2019
The nose is very light, but very woody. If anyone is curious what European oak tastes like – this is a good picture of this. It is very familiar with virgin oaked finished Canadian whiskies – no surprise there – because most virgin oak finished whiskies mostly have a light corn base. Pencil shavings, rose, mixed baking spice, dried mixed flowers, vanilla, and some potpourri. Pleasant, but not a lot of character behind the oak, which dominates this one quite a bit. It isn’t too much wood (it isn’t bitter or overoaked) but I would say that the wood dominates in a way where the spirit isn’t present much, and therefore – to me – it’s missing the element of balance between spirit and cask which I desire in whiskies, particularly finished whiskies.
The palate is very thick – woody, oaky, vanilla, with a light floral characteristic and lots of confectionary characteristics (like icing sugar). The finish is all European oak and some light sweetness, with vanilla. Baking spices and toasted oak, with a rich spicy character – all there.
I’m so-so about this one. If you haven’t had a “light expression” with lots of oak, this is a very different. If I compare to a whisky which I find better balanced between virgin oak and a light spirit (like Pike Creek 21 European Oak finish), then it doesn’t have nearly the same complexity or intrigue.
But, I also can’t say there are any real negatives here, and it’s enjoyable as a casual dram.
Value: Nothing special, but not bad for $65. You can certainly do better these days, but if you are interested to explore a bit of a different take on Irish whisky, it’s not a lot to spend against the market.