One of the differences between Irish Whiskey and Scotch is that in Ireland the technical file (what gives the instructions to distillers for what constitutes whiskey) says it must be aged for three years in Wooden casks. In Scotland the tech file says aged for three years in oak casks. By the way the tech file in neither country says three years and a day, no matter what the chirpy tour guide tells you. That simple difference of a single word can make a huge difference and allows the Irish distiller much more flexibility in aging the spirit. Irish distillers, makers of Jameson and Redbreast etc, have a micro distillery down at their distillery in Cork precisely to exploit differences and new ideas. The idea is to try new things, make the leap into the unknown and see where it ends up. On their website they state “Innovation is nothing new to Midleton, but the new microdistillery has provided the copper canvas for experimentation to run free. The whiskeys coming out of this distillers’ playground provide a new taste from Irish whiskey history.” So it was with one raised eyebrow, rather than two, that I eyed up the latest release which is aged in Mullberry wooden casks. Inquisitive rather than shocked. Mullberry has been used to age Gin before, but I don’t think it has been done with Whiskey prior to this experiment, but quite happy to be corrected on that point. Mullberry trees are quite small so the casks made from it are similarly on the petite side, and firkins were used which only hold around 40litres where the typical barrel is 200. So what is it like? Different, and better for that. The tasting notes mentioned “Smoked paprika” and it definitely is there, which is something I never experienced before and it gets a little bump for that. The mouth feel is also something different in that it has a powdery element to it and that drys the palate but gives the flavours more intensity. The finish is a good length, with the drying effect giving an extra dimension to the experience. Very nice

Nose – Herbal, red liquorice, Geranium. Toffee 2/3

Palate – Pear, apple, smoked paprika 2.5/3

Finish – mint, wood spice, sweet, slightly powdery mouth feel 2/3

Value for money- 1/1

Total 7.5/10

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *