Method & Madness is the result of the experimental micro-distillery at Midleton. There, they try new concepts in whiskey making, such as different cask types that haven’t previously been used, or that aren’t commonly used, for maturing whiskey. We’ve seen some interesting whiskey releases – a single malt, a few single pot stills and grain whiskeys, some very premium, like the 31-year-old single grain.
Two new single pot still whiskeys were released in 2019, one finished in acacia wood, the other in wild cherry wood. I tasted both in Cork during the autumn and at that first time of tasting, my favourite was the one finished in wild cherry wood. I can’t remember why – perhaps because the other one was too “ordinary” in flavour? I don’t know. This one tickled my fancy a bit more, however.
The whiskey is first matured in a combination of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks and then finished in wild cherry wood casks from France.
This is said to be the world’s first whiskey finished in cherry wood – and possibly the last. When I had another sip of this whiskey in Dublin, I was told that they’ll never do this again – cherry wood is very porous, which is a good thing because it gives the whiskey a lot of flavour, but during the time in the cherry wood cask, the loss of whiskey through the angel’s share was enormous. If this is correct I don’t know, since I see that they released the same number of bottles of both the acacia wood and the wild cherry wood whiskeys. It could simply have been a good story. However, I still liked the whiskey and decided to buy a bottle of it.
I get some damp wood, fresh birch leaves, grass, pine tree, with a very heavy sweetness, such as golden syrup. It somehow gives me a feeling of the aromas in the air when taking a walk in a Swedish forest early in the morning. Although it seems very sweet it has a nice freshness.
It’s nice and creamy on the palate. There’s an immediate spice attack, with something like ginger. There’s vanilla, honey, hazelnut or possibly almond and a hint of tropical fruit. Spicy and medium-long finish.
This is not your standard Irish whiskey but I found it enjoyable and one that I’ll happily sip now and then.