Composed of single pot still whiskies aged between 13 and 26 years that were originally matured in ex-bourbon American oak casks before being married together and then filled into seven individual Irish oak cask sourced from Knockrath Forest in County Wicklow for two years of additional maturation. Available from earlier this year in selected markets (Ireland, UK, US, France and China) for an RRP of €310.
Nose: Baked apples and peach turnovers are joined by mango slices and guava. Alongside - vanilla cream, desiccated coconut, milky coffee and toasted marshmallows. Spices (nutmeg and ginger) exert themselves increasingly once the whisky has been rested and sit with steeped fruit teas and biscuit crumbs. The addition of water expresses Fruit Salad chews (!) and brings with it a creamier aspect of Chantilly, peach melba and set custard.
Taste: Rich on the arrival with apricot slices dipped in chocolate served alongside charred mango chunks and orange liqueurs. The spice builds with nutmeg and ginger joined by saffron. Cashew nuts and rich tea biscuits are revealed in the back palate which also contains a whack of progressively drying oak – charred with aspects of charcoal like quality. Reduction adds tinned fruits, creamy fudge and a slight chalkiness.
Finish: Long with peppery dryness.
Tree 2 of the Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest series offers a slightly softer composition than its sibling Tree 1. Whilst the combination of flavours are broadly similar, their configuration is slightly more delicate and with a focus on creamy, rather than spicy oak. Nevertheless, this is still firmly in thrall with its oak. Dilution is more beneficially on the nose than the palate – where a slight, powderiness manifests itself.