The Midleton distillery is located in Midleton, County Cork in Ireland and is is the homebase of Irish Distillers.  A variety of brands are produced at the distillery including Powers, Tullamore DEW, Paddy, Redbreast and their globally renowned Jameson brand - the biggest selling Irish whiskey in the world. The distillery's flagship brand is Midleton Very Rare, which is a small batch blended malt released annually. 

Distillery Bottlings

Posted 29 May 2017

The iconic Michell & Son 'Spot' whiskey was so named because of the practice of marking casks with a spot of coloured paint to indicate the age of the whiskey contained within. Originally there were four spotted whiskey's available: 7 year old Blue Spot, 10 year old Green Spot, 12 year old Yellow Spot and 15 year old Red Spot. The Blue and Red botllings have not been produced for many years and few examples remain in existence. In 1971 Irish Distillers consolidated production at Midleton Distillery, and changed the receipt of their only spot still in production at the time - Green Spot.

Posted 30 July 2019

There’s quite a difference between an established company introducing a new expression vs. launching an entirely new product and associated brand. A new product line will need to find a customer base – it’ll invariably be competing with a wide range of pre-existing companies. But, introducing a new expression will often be positioned as an extension of an existing brand – leveraging underlying reputation, authority and loyalty to improve visibility, boost customer connections and of course to drive additional profits. British information and data measurement company Nielsen suggest that brand extensions are up to 5 times more successful than new launches.

Posted 13 November 2017

2017 has brought a new version of well-known Irish blend Midleton Very Rare. Composed of single pot still and grain whiskeys drawn from ex-Bourbon barrels, the annual release first unveiled in 1984,  is now in its 34th incarnation. The 2014 edition of Very Rare was released for the 30th anniversary of the blend and was the first to bear the name of the new Master Distiller Brian Nation who took over from Barry Crocket who retired in 2013.

Posted 06 March 2018

The annual releases of Midleton Very Rare are always highly anticipated, and shortly you’ll be able to pick up the latest edition with a new, smart presentation style. Very Rare has always been positioned as a premium Irish whiskey, but despite consistent high interest, and much praise for the liquid itself, few would suggest that the wooden coffin box that has accompanied the blend over the past 33 years was anything more than functional. The redesign is quite a radical departure compared to the bottlings of the past three decades. It’s already available in Ireland, the US and Canada and will be rolled out to other markets, including the UK from next month.

Posted 07 October 2019

In most countries, the law stipulates that whisk(e)y must be bottled at a minimum alcoholic strength of 40% ABV. This somewhat arbitrary figure came around due to a combination of political imperatives, wartime necessities and of course the old chestnut of taxation. It’s interesting to read about the historical changes in alcoholic strength (previous determined as ‘proof’), especially during the time of the First World War, when distilleries were licensed by the Ministry of Munitions. At one point, the alcoholic volume permitted dropped as low as 50 degrees under proof (28.6%) for whisky sold within munitions areas – no one likes a booze-based explosion. Similarly, at that time, a number of distilleries and munitions depots shared sited together – with a selection of distillation by-products utilised to support the war effort.

Posted 25 July 2019

Whilst I’d posit that every whisk(e)y has a natural strength where it shines the brightest, I’d also suggest that this ‘ideal’ % can vary greatly – through the type of cask that’s been utilised, to the ambient maturation conditions all the way to the personal tastes of the drinker. As enthusiasts most of us tend to gravitate towards higher ABVs – at least to the point where chill-filtration becomes a moot point – 46% and above. But that said, we’re far from the bulk of the overall market – many is the time when I’ve presented a higher strength dram to a colleague and found that their personal tastes have inclined towards the lower end of the alcoholic volume spectrum. Not everyone wants things bigger, stronger and faster - and certainly not all the time.

Posted 31 May 2017

In 2002 Michell & Son relaunched their iconic Yellow Spot whiskey, previous available as part of a series of four pot still whiskeys with different ages marked with different coloured 'spots'. The bottling returned as a 12 year old, with an interesting marriage of casks: ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and ex-malaga wine cask. Malaga is a fortified Spanish wine made from Pedro Ximenze and Moscatel grapes - not commonly seen used in whiskey production. It was believed that the original Yellow Spot recipe also contained the use of these unusual Malaga wine casks, thus Michell & Son attempted to recreate, rather than reimagine the iconic Yellow Spot.

Posted 04 April 2019

Where does the line lie between protecting tradition and limiting innovation? In the case of Irish pot still whiskey, tradition seems rather mired in the mists of time – there’s little historical evidence to provide a precise definition of what pot still actually is. The category is now offered some protection in the form of GI (Geographical Indication) status, but the specifics of the production methods (as detailed in the so-called Technical File) seem more in tune with current shape of the industry than they do with the past.

Posted 02 January 2019

Jameson Bow Street 18 year old Cask Strength is interestingly named – it could equally have been named ‘Distiller’s Walk’ as at least 17 of its 18 years of life have taken place at the Midleton Distillery in County Cork. However, there’s a nice piece of history and process taking place with this edition which earns it some uniqueness. Least of all, it’s an offering at a much higher ABV - perhaps this’ll help folks consider that there’s much more nuance to Irish whiskey than simply it’s ‘smoothness’.

Posted 19 April 2019

Creating a blended whiskey is far from as simple as adding component X to component Y and giving it a good shake. Blends are the oil that keeps the wheels of the whiskey industry turning (responsible for more global sales than single malts several times over), but that doesn’t mean that blended whiskey need be boring bottom shelf glass filler. Far from it. The Dramble recently spent some time at Midleton Distillery in Cork with Blender Dave McCabe – discovering that his art has as much to do with safeguarding consistency and preserving longer term stock as it does with the whiskey equivalent of potions class.

Posted 20 May 2019

Rarely 24 hours passes without some form of ‘World Day’ occurrence being in observation. Some promote awareness of pressing, timely subects, others social-political action. World Whisky Day is rather more focussed on first world issues – I.E. kicking back and drinking booze. And yet, there’s something more to be said about a global celebration of the water of life than just photos of charged glasses – whisky is still seen in many quarters as inaccessible, overly-masculine and to some increasingly elitist. Whilst events such as World Whisky Day look to make ‘whisky fun and enjoyable’ – doesn’t the industry and community have something of duty to leverage the heightened awareness from such a day for more than just product promotion and celebratory drinking?

Posted 12 April 2017

W&A Gilbey was founded in 1857 as a gin distillery based in Dublin. Gilbey’s sourced distillates held on bond from various Dublin-based distilleries. This including liquid from Jameson’s Bow Street Distillery which was used to produce ‘John Jameson & Son’s Castle “JJ Liqueur” Whiskey 12 Years Old in 1903. Likely the forerunner of Redbreast, the first official use of this name did not occur until 1912 when it was used as a nickname from the then Gilbey’s chairman who was an enthusiastic birdwatcher. 



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