The question on everybody’s lips for the 2020 MVR release was whether or not former Master Distiller, Brian Nation, would have his signature on the bottle, or if this would be the first in the Kevin O’Gorman series.
We have an answer. Brian Nation pens his signature on this 2020 release, the 37th edition of the range. He has selected whiskey aged from 13 to 35 years in lightly charred ex-bourbon barrels. There’s a mix of both single pot still and single grain in the blend, with a higher pot still inclusion over previous releases.
Kevin O’Gorman, newly appointed Master Distiller at Irish Distillers, and long-time collaborator of Brian Nation, comments:
“As a colleague and friend to Brian for many years, I could not be prouder to present his final Midleton Very Rare vintage and his legacy as Irish Distillers’ Master Distiller, to consumers across the globe.
“Selected each year with passion and precision, this expression offers an initial burst of tangy fruity sweetness on the palate, with pot still spices building over time to add a mild prickle of chili oil. Indeed, Brian’s love of a single pot still is reflected in this exceptional whiskey, while preserving the balance and beauty for which Midleton Very Rare is renowned.”
In a break from tradition and in response to consumer demand for the annual vintage to be made available earlier in the year in question, newly appointed Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman will reveal Midleton Very Rare 2021 in spring next year, honouring a rare changing of the guard at the iconic Midleton Distillery. (does this mean 2020 will be a smaller than usual run of bottles?)
The Official Tasting Notes
Initial top notes of cane sugar and vanilla intertwined with pepper and nutmeg spices, complimented by sweet orchard fruits and white chocolate fudge all layered over polished antique wood notes, showcasing an intriguing balance between spirit and wood thanks to the complex interaction from the many years spent in the finest oak casks.
Initial burst of tangy fruit sweetness of orange peel and sweet pear creating a succulent texture while the pot still spices build overtime adding a mild prickle of chilli oil. The presence of the charred oak remains constant in the background adding balance to the fruits and spices.
Satisfyingly long finish with the fruits slowly fading, allowing the oak and spices to linger until the very end.
Available: “The Coming Months”