Midleton unveils its oldest expression

The fifth whiskey in the Silent Distillery Collection from Midleton Very Rare was distilled by Max Crockett in 1973 and is the penultimate release in the range.

Chapter Five of the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection is a 49-year-old whisky – the oldest ever produced at Midleton. It was originally distilled in 1973, two years before the Old Midleton Distillery ceased operations. 

The single pot still whiskey was matured in ex-Bourbon barrels, which were then married for six months in cask number 52969, which also previously held Bourbon. Current master distiller Kevin O’Gorman oversaw the final whiskey-making process. 

“Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Five embodies a captivating tale that celebrates the convergence of the finest wood, exceptional whiskey, and indomitable spirit of the master craftsmen who sit at the heart of the Old Midleton Distillery’s legacy,” O’Gorman said. 

“The result is truly remarkable, offering an exceptional liquid that exceeds expectations and promises an unforgettable experience. I eagerly invite whiskey enthusiasts to indulge in this exceptional liquid and discover the captivating history that accompanies the expression as they savour every sip.”

Bottled at 52.4% ABV and priced at €55,000 (US$55,000), the whiskey will be available in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the US, France, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Persian Gulf, Singapore and global travel retail.

The whiskey is packaged in a hand-blown and etched decanter from Waterford Crystal, which is housed in a tiger brown oak burr cabinet that features white leather and silver detailing.

On the nose, the expression has hints of fruit and notes of sugar-glazed almonds, worn leather, and heather honey. The palate brings stone and citrus fruit, herbal tea, dark chocolate, ginger, and toffee apple. 

The marrying cask is of particular note as it was repaired by Dominic Buckley in the mid-1970s. As is customary, Buckley marked it with his family signature and a stamp of “1” as a mark of quality and traceability. That barrel lasted for more than 50 years without leaking, and was later inspected and maintained by Dominic’s son, Ger Buckley, the current master cooper at Midleton.

I am extremely excited to see the culmination of our family’s heritage and craftsmanship captured within Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Five. As a fifth-generation cooper, inspired and trained by my father and my uncle Donal, it is with immense pride that I see our legacy commemorated in this remarkable whiskey,” Ger Buckley said.

The release of Chapter Five comes on the heels of Midleton Very Rare celebrating its 40th anniversary with a commemorative Ruby Edition in February. Midleton Very Rare released its 2024 vintage alongside that whiskey, making Chapter Five the third whiskey from the prestigious brand this year.

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