We often ask ourselves What If.. What if we had done the things we wanted to do but didn’t just in case we failed, or it was not what we thought it would be. What If we just did it without asking why!!
Its interesting and exciting when new products and innovations hit the markets, the intrigue, the discussions and the wondering of what it is that might be on the horizon.
Ireland and the irish whiskey scene is certainly trying to push the boundaries and with the innovations and bold statements that are being bounded around its no wonder that there are many eyes watching.
The latest thing to land on my doorstep was a rather impressive package from the Method and Madness stable for which i believe is a micro distillery within the Middleton distillery set up. This set up seems to be the place where both existing distillers, blenders team with the next generation to push the boundaries and have a little fun experimenting.
Firstly let me talk about the package… I love a fancy bit of packaging and this certainly hits the spot with me, its over the top, granted but i don’t care, this might be contentious but ill stand my ground. Many of you out there complain about excess packaging and its carbon footprint etc, the cartons are obsolete, thrown straight into the trash. Some insist if the packaging was discarded then prices would be lowered but for me the packaging is still a part of the sales, i agree sometimes just a bottle is needed and if a box is required then why go over the top…
But, and for those who know me know i always like to add my point of view or as some say, argue for the sake of it.. When i buy (in this case whisky / whiskey ) i buy with my eyes and it is not always only for the pleasure of drinking, the aesthetics are just as important as the liquid.
Anyway, back to the liquid, once you get passed the impressive box and to the bottle itself, this is where it becomes simple, and i mean that with respect and not in anyway detrimental to the product itself, sometimes simple is the best way to go.
The bottle is different, it has clean edges, a simple label and makes you want to know whats hiding within the bottle.
The idea of bringing a rye whiskey into play always draws me in and with more and more rye being used with the whisky industry alongside the typical barley or other grains the choices are becoming exciting.
The use of rye isn’t a new thing after all, it is used in the Bourbon industry on a big scale and is gathering pace as it becomes a firm favourite with Bourbon / whisky / whiskey lovers around the world, the added dimensions it offers are spectacular, especially if like me you love something with a little spice.
What we have to understand is that trial and error is nothing new within the whisky industry, everyone does it to some extent, what does feel different here is that the boundaries have become wider, its not just different finishes, its not just different wood types and its not just different production methods, its all of them put together in a multitude of ways..
What if we push the boundaries that little bit further, What if we allow the apprentices more say, what if.. Two little words that can change the way we look at things in such a big way..
METHOD AND MADNESS Rye & Malt – the first aged experimental distillate release created at the Micro Distillery in Midleton. Innovation is nothing new to Midleton, but the micro distillery has provided the copper canvas for experimentation to run free. This whiskey is the realisation of trial, and error, and brilliant bottled breakthroughs that started with “What if?
Masterfully created by our next generation of innovative whiskey makers, METHOD AND MADNESS Rye & Malt is a distillate-driven whiskey, bursting with floral notes and a spicy character. The combination of rye with malted barley brightens the whiskey’s naturally wide spectrum of flavours and aromas to evoke notes of lemon balm, white pepper, chili flakes and toasted wood with a lingering finish of spiced fruit.
WHEN IT COMES TO NEW SCHOOLS OF
THOUGHT, THESE ARE OUR STAR
Hand-crafted under the creativity and care of Distiller Katherine Condon – the release represents the young team’s fearless and relentless approach to trial and error. First experimenting in the lab to discover the ideal ratio of 60% rye to 40% grain, Condon and the team then took advantage of the Micro Distillery’s manual processes, trialling varying rates of reflux and distillation to achieve the perfect crisp, spicy flavour.
The METHOD AND MADNESS journey first began six years ago when the Micro Distillery opened its doors with a mission to further support the resurgence of Irish whiskey, drawing on research into wood influences and cereal mixes, historic mash bills from the Irish Distillers Archive and the restless curiosity of its craftspeople.
Driven by a desire to create whiskey that paid heed to tradition while searching for the new and extraordinary, the Micro Distillery team double-distilled a mash of rye and malted barley and left it to mature in ex-bourbon American oak barrels.
Rye and Malt – Method and Madness
60% Rye and 40% Grain = Rye and Malt
Distillery.. Midleton Micro Distillery
Cask.. Ex Bourbon
Style.. Rye and Malted Barley
Nose.. Plenty of floral notes like blossom and wild flowers with some added sweetness coming from honey and lemon drizzle cake with lemon icing… Clove and soft cedar notes dance on the back of soft malt notes.
Palate.. The spices are a little more dominant with nutmeg, cinnamon and gentle ginger notes leading nicely into stewed apples, vanilla and a soft herbal note that lingers in the background.
Finish.. lingering spices
Thoughts.. This has all the hallmarks of typical Irish whiskey with that added twist, the soft floral notes and gentle fruitiness associated with the triple distilled Irish whiskey i love so much is there as well as some added complexity brought forward from the Rye element..
Damn good stuff..