"We have been inspired by the innovators in Irish whiskey who came before us. In turn, we have questioned tradition and challenged convention to follow their inspiration and drive the category forward for a new generation."Katherine Condon.
Our tasting notes
The colour is vibrant gold and the nose is deliciously fragrant and aromatic. Lemon and butterscotch rise first from the glass and they are followed by floral honey and vanilla sponge cake. Further notes of baking spice (think of cinnamon, mace and clove), milk chocolate and candied lime peel follow, plus a hint of ginger oat cookies.
On the palate this whiskey is very woody to begin with. Freshly sawn oak and cinnamon kick things off, followed by some drying tannins, toasted nuts and further warming spice. Much needed sweetness comes through after a short time and settles things down. The butterscotch and floral honey notes from the nose are present, along with golden syrup and milk chocolate.
Hints of apricot jam, stewed apple and orange marmalade also come through, along with a faint note of super ripe tropical fruit (imagine pineapple especially, but also mango and peach). There is an underlying robust cereal note that is constant and adds structure and grip. This is accentuated by a distinct note of mocha that evolves into espresso coffee. Late hints of white pepper and brazil nut elongate the palate.
The finish is of decent length and becomes very drying and warm with time. The sweet honey-like and fruit notes fade. The chocolate characteristic remains a little longer and appears more exaggerated alongside the woody notes and spices. Very nice.
What's the verdict?
While this is not the first Method & Madness product that we have sampled, it is the first produced entirely at the Micro Distillery in Midleton. It is always exciting to taste the first product from a new place and this is no different. The mix of barley and rye cereals makes for a very intriguing and tasty whiskey indeed.
This is a whiskey for the modern generation. It is non-traditional for the Irish category and young, flavoursome and highly expressive. The result is impressive and a large company like Irish Distillers should be applauded for entering the artisanal market. We cannot wait to see which other innovations and experiments make it to the shelves in the future. This is a very promising beginning.