PBMichiganWolverine

Midleton Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest

Single Pot Still — Ireland

Tasted
5.0
5.0 out of 5 stars
I’ve not had many Irish whiskeys. At most, I can count on one hand how many I’ve had. But, I can imagine even if I’ve had many more, this would be the creme de la creme. Okay, so a bit of history. Hundreds of years ago, back when England controlled pretty much the entire world, the English army notoriously chopped forests across Ireland. I can imagine if Greta Thunberg was around then, she’d have something to say about it. They did this to namely to help build the English navy. And to trouble the Irish, who were rebelling at the time. The nerve to want freedom! Anyway—- A few forests were left—-Knockrath being one of them. Something tells me they didn’t leave these due to the kindness of their heart...maybe had something to do with the wood being probably not suitable for navy ships. Fast forward hundreds of years, and this forest is now owned privately by the Brabazon family. Six trees were felled for this whiskey, with the wood being transfered to Jerez, Spain for conditioning, while the Irish whiskey matured in virgin oak back in Ireland. The barrels then shipped from Jerez to Ireland, where the whiskey matured in this for 2 more years. This makes the range of whiskey here anywhere from 16-26yr old. I had the fortunate opportunity to try 4 of these samples: tree 2, 3, 5, 6. Thanks to a family member that bought back a few samples from Dublin. Tree 2, 3, 6 had very subtle differences, honestly couldn’t tell them apart. But tree 5 was different, not sure what was up with that one. Tree 2,3,6: tons of vanilla, tropical fruit basket galore. The fruit was heavy in pineapples and green tart apples. Just simple amazing. Tree 5: this one was different. Had a rancio effect, almost like really good cognac. Much more earthy and herbal. The fruit was there, but the earthy -rancio was forefront and bold. Out of the 4 I’ve tried, hands down my favorite was tree 5. Just layers of complexity over the others. All were amazing, but 5 gave a special something over the others. I’m keeping an eye out for this...if you have one Irish, make it this one.
  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @worldwhiskies95 oh, that’s the La Maison du Whisky one—-fully sherried matured 25 yr old. I think I actually have that one

  • worldwhiskies95

    @PBMichiganWolverine No. a single cask. Dream cask has only come out in 32 year and 20 year PX versions

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @worldwhiskies95 was the Dream Cask? Sold out in minutes.

  • worldwhiskies95

    @PBMichiganWolverine I once tried a 25 year old sherry cask redbreast for the friend at hand belfast and it was the best irish I ever tried. Need to get tree 5 of this some day

  • Rick_M

    @PBMichiganWolverine - 5 stars from you is a great recommendation. Thanks!

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @1901 €310 is no small change. But regardless, still will get it. Another on my try list is a fully sherry matured Redbreast. It just looks as if it’ll take that maturation really well

  • 1901

    @PBMichiganWolverine I'm jealous. I've sampled the earlier 2 series but not tried this yet. It costs €310 here. The forest is in my County which is a further attraction. Keep an eye out for the inaugural release of Glendalough Pot Still. After the requisite minimum 3 years they finished it in virgin oak from the same forest. It's a marvellous first effort - better than Dingle imo. Solid history lesson too BTW.

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @Clarkebar I don’t think we can go wrong with any of the Midleton Rare, Barry Crockett, or their Dair Ghalech line. It’s best of Ireland 🇮🇪

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @SolanaRoots no, I’ve not procured it yet. TWE doesn’t have it, and not in US yet. I only had the samples. But I will definitely get the tree 5 of this. ( only tree 5...the others were good, but nothing special over the other Dair Ghalechs)

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @Rick_M that heavy vanilla I got makes sense now, considering the ex-bourbon maturation.

  • Clarkebar

    @PBMichiganWolverine - Great review! The PA stores usually get this series along with Barry Crockett but it's special order only, no OTC. The only time I ordered the Crockett Legacy they couldn't source it. I do have a shop a short drive away in Frederick which also gets in the more limited Midletons. Hard to pass up something this well regarded so I'll also have to keep a sharp eye out.

  • Rick_M

    @PBMichiganWolverine - i’ve been keeping an eye out for this whiskey. I don’t see it available yet in the US. The single pot stills used were first matured in ex-bourbon American oak, then finished in virgin Irish oak for the time you specified.

  • SolanaRoots

    @PBMichiganWolverine Great review! Where did you find & how much does the bottle run?

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @Scott_E that tree 5 was really unique. The others, I couldn’t tell the difference...but that 5, maybe you’re right—-something with distance, sunlight, who knows. But it was unique enough for me to get a bottle specifically only of the 5

  • Scott_E

    @PBMichiganWolverine very cool comparatives. Very interesting that there is a noticeable variety amongst the wood from the same locale. Wonder what the spacial distances were amongst the trees? Did one get more sun than the others? Was the land more sloped in one area? Etc.

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @Soba45 i think Irish especially takes wood influence really well. I can’t see an Islay being as open to different woods as Irish...maybe just too strong of a personality and needs something specific to complement it

  • Soba45

    @PBMichiganWolverine I'd say they are a rare and usually protected species a bit like Rimu here. I love seeing the impact different types of wood have on a spirit

  • PBMichiganWolverine

    @Soba45 i think this was the last in the series ( no more forests in Ireland?). I’m definitely buying one, well worth the price

  • Soba45

    Ah man you were lucky to try multiple variants. Definitely one I'd like to get hold of one day as i've had a number of others in the family. Great review as well