Irish Distillers, makers of some of the world’s most well-known Irish whiskeys, has launched a new single pot still Irish whiskey finished in virgin Mulberry Wood into its Method and Madness range.
In a world first for Irish whiskey, the limited-edition expression has been finished in White Mulberry Wood felled in central Hungary, where the local climate creates the perfect growing conditions. The wood is then harvested and air-dried for two years at the Kádár sawmills in Tokaj before being transferred to a cooperage in Budapest. The relatively high porosity and medium toasting of the exceptional Mulberry Wood casks impart elevated flavours of wood spices and enhanced toffee sweetness, along with a natural golden hue to the whiskey.
The whiskey, a single pot still distillate, was first matured in a combination of first fill and re-fill American Oak barrels, before being left to finish in 50-litre Mulberry Wood casks. Bottled at 46% ABV, the resulting whiskey is wonderfully complex with notes of smoked paprika, flavours of sweet toffee apple and a freshly cut wood character imparted from the virgin Mulberry Wood.
Method and Madness Mulberry Wood official tasting notes
- Nose: Caramelised toffee apple, freshly cut wood, and toasted pine nuts.
- Palate: Sweet pear, green apple, smoked paprika.
- Finish: Deep and mellow with lingering fruits and intense wood spice.
First launched in 2017, Method and Madness looks to push the boundaries of Irish whiskey through new, interesting releases by building on the experience and creativity of the masters and the fresh thinking of the apprentices at Midleton Distillery and Micro Distillery. Just as the spirit of exploration and experimentation has guided the collection to date, this new release was born out of trials dating back to 2019, when Midleton’s Wood Planning and Maturation Team Lead, Finbarr Curran, sourced the rare Mulberry Wood casks from Budapest.
Back in Ireland, the team at Midleton experimented with different whiskey styles and maturation times for the perfect marriage between liquid and cask. Just 50 litres in size and conducive to accelerated maturation, given the large surface-to-volume ratio, the Midleton Masters and Apprentices kept a close eye on the whiskey before finally settling on a finishing period of between three and eight months for a perfectly balanced wood contribution.
Finbarr Curran, Wood Planning and Maturation Team Lead, said: “We are delighted to launch our limited-edition Mulberry wood finish, a world first for the category and the third world first in the Method and Madness range. So far, our commitment to wood experimentation and maturation has taken us all over the world and led to the development of some of the most exquisite Irish whiskeys. It’s been a joyous journey of discovery and we look forward to continuing this exploration as we keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in Irish whiskey.”
Anna Lazaridou, Maturation Research and Innovation Technologist said: “With its unusual wood structure and small cask size, there’s no doubt that Mulberry Wood presented its challenges, with early trials failing. But in the ethos of the Method and Madness range, our relentless dedication to trial and error has produced a beautifully balanced whiskey. And it’s with great pride that we share this with the world today.”
Method and Madness Mulberry Wood is available to purchase online for an RRP of €95.