The wheels on the bus go round and round…
The Bloggers on the bus go, “Are we there yet? Wheres the whiskey!?”
Thursday night bus trips to an exclusive whiskey tasting with Billy Leighton – Master Blender for Midleton, on hand to indulge us with his knowledge are hard to beat.
The venue – Blake’s of “The Hollow” established in 1887, a very well known pub in Enniskillen, not just for their Game of Thrones door which resides in their front bar, a Victorian one at that which remains pretty much untouched since 1887. Though not just a pub, there is Blake’s Fine Wines who ship some of the best wine around the world. Name drop – Sandy Lane Barbados is a loyal customer.
In the past few years there seems to been a real return to pubs and off-sales in Ireland selling their own exclusive single cask bottling’s such as The Powers Single Casks with 24 current releases to the likes of The Celtic Whiskey Store – Dublin, The Friend at Hand – Belfast and Garavans’ Bar – Galway. You’ve also got the likes of the Glendalough Triple Barrel which appears in a few select stores, but then you come to the best of the best, Midleton Single Casks!
That was the reason we all gathered in Blake’s, for the launch & release of their exclusive Midleton single cask bottling (180 bottles) which now means they’ve joined the exclusive club along with the likes of Ashford Castle and Adare Manor, though they haven’t joined them in the ridiculous price category anyway.
The whiskey itself –
A Single Pot Still whiskey, laid down on November 27th 1991 then left to mature in first fill Ex-Bourbon for 26 years and finally bottled at 53.1% ABV.
On The Nose – Abundant’s of sweetness. Traditional PotStill Spices. Vanilla, Cinnamon, Clove with little touches of fruit (citrus) and strangely marmalade.
In The Mouth – A real old leather texture (biker gang leather jacket style) with a full coating. Heavier on the spices with rich fruits starting to appear – Blackcurrants, Passion fruit. That Marmalade that appeared on the nose is evident on the palate. Toasted Oak continues to build. An absurdly good intense workout on tongue.
Down The Hatch Conclusions – A heavy rich spice with a touch of earthiness and lingering oak finish. Very much an old style Midleton Pot Still.
An exceptional release, a fantastic cask choice by by Midleton’s Master Distiller Brian Nation. Well and truly one of the best whiskeys I’ve had the pleasure of trying*. The only other Midleton single cask I’ve tried that I can try to compare it with is the Friend At Hand’s 1998 release which didn’t show it’s full character in my opinion.
*If you’ve seen Phil’s (Causeway Coast Whiskey Reviews) photo from the night you’ll understand that mad expression upon face.
This Midleton Single Cask, all 180 bottles are available at Blake’s of “The Hollow” – Enniskillen and also their off-sales Blake’s Fine Wines in Derrylin with a retail price of £690 / €810 which is a seriously good price if you take into consideration the RPR of similar Midleton Single Cask releases from Ashford Castle and Adare Manor which range from £1.5k and up. Madness!! Sadly for me its still slightly outside my price range but without a doubt if I could I would have a bottle on the shelf at home.
Thanks for a fantastic evening go out to –
Until next time, keep safe & keep drinking whiskey responsibly.
Over & out.
Jamie. Whiskey JAC