Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter One retails for $35k per bottle and is part of the world's oldest Irish whiskey collection
Thought to be the world's most expensive Irish whiskey, Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter One, is available for purchase from February 18 if you happen to have $35k to spare.
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Only 48 750ml bottles of the Irish whiskey will be available for sale in Ireland, the UK, France, and the US. Two bottles will be sold via ballot system on The 1825 Room, the Midleton Very Rare online members’ program.
Irish whiskey lovers can register their interest to be entered into a lottery to purchase a bottle from 9 pm on February 18 for one week.
Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter One will be decanted into hand-blown and etched crystal decanter bottles, produced by Ireland’s Waterford Crystal, with each of the bottles individually numbered. The bottle comes displayed in a wooden cabinet handcrafted by Irish designer, John Galvin, using wood up to 200 years old from ancient reclaimed whiskey vats.
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The release is the first from Ireland’s oldest ever whiskey collection, the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection, all of which are produced at Midleton Distillery in Co Cork. The collection will feature six releases, one per year until 2025, ranging in age from 45 to 50 years old. The final release will coincide with the 200th birthday of the Old Midleton Distillery, which operated form 1825 -1975.
A 'silent' distillery is one that has closed its doors and been lost to ages past, achieving almost mythical status. As rumors of this ‘unicorn’ whiskey swirl around the whiskey world, these precious bottlings have become highly sought after by whiskey enthusiasts. A traditional distillery, Old Midleton Distillery was famous throughout the world for its Irish whiskey, but when it closed its doors for the last time in 1975, it became an iconic part of Irish distilling legend.
While other silent distilleries have re-opened and been brought back to life, Old Midleton has been fully decommissioned and will never produce again. Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter One will be the first official release from Old Midleton Distillery in 16 years and the collection represents some of the last drops of this inimitable spirit before the distillery closed its doors forever.
When the spirit for Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter One was laid down in 1974 under Master Distiller Emeritus Max Crockett, a year before the closure of Old Midleton Distillery, it was part of a series of innovative trials never to be released or repeated. Crockett’s experimentation with peated single malt whiskey from 1964 to 1974 will come to light for the very first time through this release which paves the way for new beginnings in the world of ultra-rare, luxury Irish whiskey.
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Barry Crockett, Master Distiller Emeritus: “It’s remarkable that 45 years on we could even be speaking about a whiskey which was distilled in the very final period of the Old Midleton Distillery. It is the ultimate heirloom and memento of the dedication to precise malt preparation, brewing and distillation skills of generations of distillers at Midleton. Furthermore, it’s among the very last remaining whiskey distilled through the largest pot still in the world, a skill which in its own right required great refinement of the distiller’s art."
Brian Nation, Master Distillers at Irish Distillers: “One of the most wondrous parts of my job is that I am often responsible for safekeeping the legacy of another. For many years now, my colleagues and I have been caring for the work of Max and Barry Crockett, to determine the optimum time to share it with the world. The team at Midleton Distillery is extremely proud that the time has finally come to introduce the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection.
Brendan Buckley, International Marketing Director at Irish Distillers: “At a time when Irish whiskey is booming and aged stock is extremely limited, we are privileged to have the opportunity to launch this piece of history. The work of three Irish whiskey legends - Max Crockett, Barry Crockett, and Brian Nation - this is truly a new chapter in Irish luxury.”
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Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter One tasting notes by Master Distiller Brian Nation
Nose: The first impression is very rich with deep, dark spices on a satisfying antique oak base. An earthy note of freshly cut peat, along with chamois leather, is lifted by a twist of grapefruit. The very old sherry wine seasoned hogshead cask contributes a touch of ripe honeydew melon and red berries as well as the sweet spices of toasted oak.
Taste: Instantly rich with the initial peppery spices slowly softening as the influence of the malted barley shows through. Liquorice root, barley sugar, and honey bring some sweetness, just given a little edge by a touch of sherbet. All build on a solid foundation of toasted oak.
Finish: The rich spices and malted barley are slow to fade.
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What's your favorite Irish whiskey? Let us know in the comments!