This Friday is not any Friday, it’s Good Friday. So should you have a dram on Good Friday? Some will say no, some will say yes. I claim that if you have respect for the product, enjoy it responsibly and for the right purposes, there’s nothing wrong with having a dram on Good Friday. This of course is relevant for having a dram on whatever day!
I bought a bottle of the first Method and Madness single pot still some year ago, the one finished in French chestnut. Then of course I was very curious about the newer single pot still releases. I was a little annoyed about the 28-year-old though. Don’t misunderstand me, seeing older Irish whiskeys is nice and good for the variety in Irish whiskey, but when there were still so few new single pot stills out there, I preferred to see new whiskey releases in a price range for normal people and so that the whiskey will be enjoyed, not put on a shelf. Anyway, there is also another younger single pot still release, finished in Hungarian virgin oak. I tasted this a month or so ago at Shelbourne bar in Cork.
There are a few different types of Hungarian oak, and according the the Method and Madness website, this one used for this whiskey is Quercus Petrae, which grows densely in the north-east of Hungary where the conditions are harsh with cold winters and hot dry summers. It’s similar to the French oak but it grows more slowly and the wood has a higher density than the French oak.
This single pot still whiskey is first matured in a combination of first fill and refill ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in Hungarian oak for 11 months. It’s then been bottled at 46% ABV.
Soft creamy vanilla. Spices such as cloves. Something fresh fruity, perhaps green apple.
Slightly more dry than what I’m used to in single pot stills. There’s a nice sweetness and I sense a hint the woodyness of the virgin oak. A nice combination of soft vanilla and oak. There’s dry pepper at the end but not much spice on the palate otherwise. The finish is particular – something herbal with a feel of rosemary, gin herbs. It’s slightly too light bodied in my opinion, but has very nice flavours, it would have been interesting to taste it at cask strength.
With a few added drops of water the aromas are more intense, and there’s more pepper on the palate, and more oaky flavours.
This is a very nice whiskey although not among my favourite single pot stills. However, virgin oak and single pot still from Midleton is a very interesting combo!