Irish Distillers has revealed the 2020 edition in its Midleton Very Rare whiskey collection, the last expression created by former master distiller Brian Nation.
Midleton Very Rare 2020 is the 37th edition in the annual range. Nation hand selected the whiskeys for the 2020 edition during his final days as master distiller.
In June 2020, Nation left Irish Distillers after 23 years to become the new master distiller for US startup O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company, which is set to open its distillery in Minneapolis next summer. Nation’s role at the Jameson producer was filled by the firm’s master of maturation Kevin O’Gorman.
Midleton Very Rare 2020 showcases single pot still and single grain whiskeys aged from 13 to 35 years in lightly charred ex-Bourbon American oak barrels.
For this year’s Very Rare bottling, Nation selected a higher pot still inclusion when compared to previous vintages, while also increasing the use of refill barrels among his choice of casks.
“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,” said O’Gorman.
“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 chilli 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.”
The 2020 edition has notes of cane sugar and vanilla intertwined with pepper and nutmeg spices on the nose, while the palate brings a tangy fruit sweetness of orange peel and sweet pear.
Bottled at 40% ABV, Midleton Very Rare 2020 is available to buy online and in Ireland. It will launch in the UK, US, global travel retail, Australia, Germany and Canada in the coming months at an RRP of €180 (US$211).
Furthermore, the next Midleton Very Rare will be revealed earlier than usual due to consumer demand. Midleton Very Rare 2021, the first to be created by O’Gorman, will be unveiled in spring next year to honour a new era for the Midleton Distillery.