Whisky Tasting: Midleton Very Rare 2014

A dram for St Patrick’s Day, from one of Jameson’s less well-known labels. Appropriately, I first stumbled across this in Dublin, ordering it in the hotel bar without comprehending what I was getting (at 16.50 euro a dram, I just equated it to Perth hotel prices). I was immediately blown away, and had to bring a bottle home with me. My impression then, and on subsequent samplings, is that it’s that good. So tonight I’m going to make some notes as I sip away.

Nose: rich floral malty goodness. A bouquet of honey and spring flowers, vanilla and toffee. I could keep my nose in here all day.

Taste: sweet honey goodness, lots of vanilla and toffee, but not overwhelming. Maybe a hint of dark orange chocolate, light citrus, caramel. Smooth, very light and smooth.

Finish: Lingering hints of chocolate, malt, vanilla. Not long but a fair length, though it does mean I’m reaching for the glass again quite soon.

It almost pains me to add a drop of water but for science I do these things…

Nose: richer toffee and caramel. The flowers are pushed right back but light sherry flavours come to the fore. Reminiscent of the Glenfiddich 15yo Solera, but a little more lightly honeyed.

Taste: Malty, jarrah honey, citrus hints. Not better, nor noticibly worse, just differently emphasised.

Finish: Seems to pull up a little shorter, a hint more malty.

My call here: skip the water.

I couldn’t find any certifiably official tasting notes, but there are some at http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/07/irish-distillers-unveils-midleton-very-rare-2014-irish-whiskey-news/

Aroma – Rich, with vanilla sweetness on a layer of oak char from the influence of American white oak ex-Bourbon barrels. A soft floral note introduces the sweet spice of cinnamon, green pepper, and garden mint. Beautifully rounded with hints of green apple and banana. 

Taste – Full, with the sweet spice of vanilla, cinnamon, and liquorice and the flinty note of barley grains. Ripe fruit combines with the charred oak, adding to the complexity. 

Finish – Sweet spicy flavours that linger, fading slowly to leave the last word with the barley.

And I get a lot of this — I thought I’d picked up a little smokiness but dismissed it as being a little out of character with the rest.

Overall this is one of the good ones, well worth every 9+/10 review and for around $250 AUD it’s well worth it. There’s an inch left in my bottle, and I’m looking to save pennies to replace it. A word of warning: I’ve been told that there’s variation from year to year, so what goes for the 2014 may not apply to others.