First up in our Irish Method and Madness quartet was a single grain, matured in ex-bourbon barrels then finished in virgin Spanish oak.
What did we think?
Method and Madness Single Grain Virigin Spanish Oak Finish 46%
- Colour – Straw
- Nose – We immediately thought of veggie bhajia, a deep fried desi savoury snack made with besan (chickpea flour)! Behind the vegetable oil, we found some honey, a hint of floral fragrance, with a herbal bitterness. After the 1st sip, the vegetal quality gave way to a nutty vanilla toffee aroma.. shifting into balsa wood or fresh pine
- Palate – First impression was banana with sharp spice, then it calmed down revealing a bitter ajwain element. A few sips in and the wood increasingly came to the forefront with a bit of vanilla pudding or honey depending on the sip
- Finish – Soft feeling, coats with warmth but nothing very specifically discernible, more like a shadow of the woody palate than anything distinctive, yet the impression remained
- Water – Some added water and one thought it completely transformed the grain. Certainly it smoothed and rounded it out more, the spice remained but was tempered and not so honeyed
Overall we found there was more character than expected in a grain. The wood certainly came through and could very well be the influence of the time spent in virgin Spanish oak casks.
And the revisit? Nope! Not to our taste. Let’s just say there was a funky sour quality that was thankfully completely missing in our original tasting.
What did the folks over at Midleton have to say?
This release asked the question: What if we take a step away from the familiar with a Single Grain whiskey aged in Virgin Spanish Oak. Without giving too much away, the two made very good partners, with a taste of gentle wood spice playing off the natural sweetness of the grain.
- Nose – New pencil shavings, light rose petal, fresh rain on pine
- Taste – Warm toasted oak, fresh peeled grapefruit, zesty wood spices
- Finish – Sweet cereal, clove spiciness, fresh mint
Would we agree? We certainly found the woodsy quality, floral hint and spice, however we certainly didn’t find the grapefruit on the palate though perhaps our interpretation was bitter with out the citrus element. Overall we were glad to have a chance to try but this wouldn’t be one we would run out and buy again.
This bottle was purchased in London at the Whisky Exchange, currently available for £43.75 and opened in November 2019.
What else did we try in our Method and Madness evening?
- Single Malt French Limousin Oak Finish 46%
- Pot Still Hungarian Oak Finish 46%
- Pot Still Chestnut Finish 46%
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These are definitely on my list to still try! So many whiskies to try, so little time. Sounds an interesting release.
Hahah! Seriously – way too many! Let me know what you think if and when you do. 🙂