Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais
Need to know:
A new annual bottling from Irish Distillers, this whiskey is a blend of single pot still and grain whiskeys distilled in the 1980s–2000s that have been matured in bourbon barrels and finished in new French oak casks from the Tronçais forest.
Whisky Advocate says:
Cooperages seek out mature Tronçais oaks from the forests in the center of France, as the wood is renowned for making some of the world’s finest barrels used in the cognac, wine, and spirit industries. Kevin O’Gorman began looking for the perfect cask for this release in 2017 when he was Midleton’s master of maturation, a journey that led him to select a T5 caskfrom the Taransaud cooperage in France. The fine-grained staves are left to season in the open air for five years, adding layers of delicate and subtle flavors to the older Midleton whiskeys. Bookending the project, O’Gorman was subsequently appointed Midleton master distiller in 2020, becoming responsible for monitoring this whiskey throughout its three-year finishing period until it was ready for bottling. Typically, distillers either use Tronçais oak casks when they are new, filling spirit into it as a virgin French oak cask, or for finishing, such as filling it with mature stock for a cognac cask finish: this release is a virgin French oak finish, but last year, Glenlivet, a fellow Pernod Ricard brand to Midleton, released 21 year old and 25 year old single malt scotches that included time in Tronçais oak cognac casks in the recipe.