The latest chapter in Ireland’s oldest and rarest whiskey collection
May 2023 Introducing Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Four, the fourth release in Ireland’s oldest and rarest whiskey collection.
Midleton Very Rare, renowned as the Pinnacle of Irish Whiskey, is produced in Midleton Distillery, Co. Cork, Ireland. The Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection includes six releases that represent the last of the liquid from the legendary Old Midleton Distillery. First introduced in 2020 with a 45 year old whiskey, each release is unveiled annually and will culminate in 2025 when a 50 year old whiskey will be released to complete the collection.
The namesake for the Silent Distillery Collection comes from the Old Midleton Distillery, which was in production from 1825 until 1975, when it was replaced by an adjacent modern distillery. With a handful of casks of whiskey from Old Midleton dating back to 1973 and 1974 still in possession, today’s team of craftspeople chose to release these as limited-edition bottles, bringing back the magic of the world renowned old distillery, which will never produce again. In 2025, the last bottlings from the silent distillery casks will be 50 years old and mark the 200th anniversary of Old Midleton.
Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter One, a 45-year-old peated single malt, was launched in 2020 reaffirming the beginning of a new era for ultra-rare luxury Irish whiskey. Chapter Two was a unique 46-year-old single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1973, followed by Chapter Three, a 47-year-old single pot still aged in a combination of American bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks.
Chapter Four is a 48-year-old blended Irish whiskey born out of the careful marrying of an outstanding grain and pot whiskey in an ex-bourbon cask.
The whiskeys, which were laid down in 1973 by Master Distiller Emeritus Max Crockett, aged and developed defining characteristics of their own while coming to fruition in separate casks. Following a carefully handled blending process which involved adding the pot whiskey into the particularly delicate grain whiskey cask without losing any of this liquid gold, the whiskeys completed their maturation journey together.
Marrying for 48 days, the flavours of the two whiskeys intertwined, complementing each other and resulting in a whiskey that is silk textured and full bodied, with fruit, spice and finesse combining to present a wonderfully complex expression.
With a bottling strength of 53.9%, only 119 bottles of this unique whiskey will be available, which brings together expert craftsmanship and the heritage of Old Midleton Distillery.
Kevin O’Gorman is only the fourth person in 75 years to hold the title of Master Distiller at Midleton Distillery. Commenting on the complexity of Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Four, O’Gorman explains:
“The marrying process for Chapter Four is a true testament to the science and art of whiskey making. It’s a sensitive process of allowing the different elements to merge and mingle over time, resulting in a truly exceptional and complex whiskey.
“This limited-edition whiskey showcases both the excellence of Midleton Very Rare, and the history and legacy of the silent distillery. Crafting the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Four was like preserving a piece of history in a bottle. It’s an honour to continue the legacy of the old distillery and offer something extraordinary.”
The Silent Distillery Collection is inspired by nature’s elements and Chapter Four’s packaging and photography pay homage to the role of earth, a life-giver to grain, wood and all that nourish these essential materials.
Master craftsman John Galvin, originally from Cork, is the designer behind the specially designed box for the fourth release in the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection. Galvin draws inspiration from the natural world, and his connection with nature has helped him create the bespoke cabinets for this unique collection. The cabinets are made of select lacewood, known for its striking appearance and flecking of red and brown, reminiscent of barley fields and the natural bounty at the heart of the whiskey.
Galvin and his team fuse fine craftsmanship and precision engineering to create each cabinet by hand, and to enhance their beauty, the cabinets are dressed in premium shagreen leather and detailed with sterling silver and oak reclaimed from Irish whiskey vats. The Silent Distillery Collection is presented in a unique mouth blown crystal decanter produced by renowned House of Waterford.