“The History: There are only a few whiskeys that can be proud to have been releasing a high-end limited edition for almost 40 years. But Barry Crockett, ahead of his time, went for it in 1984 when there were barely a couple of distilleries in Ireland. Thanks to his drive and enthusiasm, today I have before me the 39th edition of what they say is the pinnacle of Irish whiskey: Midleton Very Rare 2022.
In his second edition as Master Distiller, Kevin O’Gorman once again bets on a whiskey in which the grain element is more present. However, the single pot still maintains the character of this Irish classic. O’Gorman has selected grain whiskeys from 1989, with floral notes, as well as pot-still from 2009 to give it a citrusy touch.
As always, Midleton Very Rare 2022 is a blend of Single Pot Still and Single Grain. But in this edition, the whiskeys that compose it range from 12 to 33 years. All have been aged in a mix of first-fill and second-fill barrels, all lightly charred American oak ex-bourbon. It has been bottled at 40% ABV.
The Whiskey: Although the Midleton Very Rare bottle has evolved over the years, Midleton Very Rare 2022 maintains the clean and modern style of the latest editions. For the second time, it shows Kevin O’Gorman’s signature on the label.
There’s maybe a handful of whiskeys that can maintain such a high-quality standard for almost 40 years. Luckily for me, I’ve tried almost half of the Midleton Very Rare expressions. And, although they all follow the same initial idea (Single Pot Still and Single Grain in American oak barrels), each one has its own style. Middleton Very Rare 2022 has character and good balance. O’Gorman has managed to maintain that fine line of balance and smoothness that is expected of this expression… I believe that It’s actually impossible to refuse to enjoy a glass of Midleton Very Rare.” WhiskeyReviewer.com (Emma Briones)