Monday, February 28, 2022

Delighted with this Pair of Very Highly Recommended Reds

Wine & Wellington!
Delighted with this Pair

of Very Highly Recommended Reds


Chateau Tire Pé Bordeaux AOC 2017, 13.5%, 

€20.65 €18.45  64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

While looking for a wine to pair with the Beef Wellington by James Whelan Butchers, this Bordeaux got the nod. Tire Pé is not a  blend; it is 100% Merlot but did an effortless match with the delicious fillet and the equally delicious duxelles.

It has a deep ruby robe and notes of red and dark berries in the aromas. The same berries lead the flavours on the palate, with a little spice also. And there’s a terrific natural acidity that played a key role in the pairing with the Beef Wellington.

When the beef had been finished, the bright and expressive wine proved itself as a very pleasant companion on its own with an excellent refreshing finish, tannins light on the lips. Very Highly Recommended

The vineyard info: this "terroir" Merlot (20 to 40 year old vines), distinctive, delicate and expressive, with fruity and spicy aromas. Has been aged for 18 to 24 months in concrete vats.

“Whatever the cuvée, our guideline is in balance, precision, expression... 

To go in this direction, we harvest our grapes at the "right" maturity, carry out "soft" vinifications (no "forced" extraction but rather in "infusion" mode) at moderate fermentation temperature (24-28°), then aging ranging from 8 months to more than 36 months in concrete vats, in barrels (400 and 500 l) or even in terracotta jars.”

Hélène and David Barrault purchased Tire Pé in 1997; they are farming organically since 2008 (certified since 2014).The hill of Tire Pé owes its name to ancient rural scenes, where working horses would pass wind under the effort of climbing the hill, on their way back to the farm.

Le Caveau tells us they have created a little garden of Eden, “where wild grass, insects, birds and small wild animals live among the vines. Very unusual sight in the Entre-deux-Mers appellation, where their 13.5-ha estate is located.”

Vincenzo Red (top) and white

Fattoria di Vaira Vincenzo Rosso 2019, 12.5%

€18.45  64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

With “At Home” offers from restaurants increasing at the time, we ordered one from Da Mirco in Bridge Street, Italian of course! Indeed, one of the most genuine Italian restaurants around these parts. But did we have an Italian win at hand?  Yes, we had, even if Vincenzo’s Rosso is not from the north where Mirco hails from.

It is a dark ruby in the glass, a lighter red at the rim. This is quite aromatic: plum, blackberries, and black currant with a rustic background . Quite a depth of flavour and no shortage of spice either on the palate, lively and fresh, with ripe tannins towards the finish. A friendly and very drinkable wine and Highly Recommended. I didn’t do it but it may be no harm to decant this.

Da Mirco's Tagliere

The grapes used in the blend are Montepulciano (50%), Merlot (25%) & Cabernet Sauvignon (25%). I’ve seen this described as a “bold blend”. A bit unusual for sure but works nicely in this Rosso. Food pairings suggested are: cured meat, cheeses, red meat. 

It certainly matched well with Da Mirco’s Tagliere with Italian cured meats, cheeses, olives and more as well, and went well also with  the main course of Homemade Cannelloni with a filling of Braised Irish Venison Ragu.

Importers Le Caveau: Fattoria di Vaira is one of the largest biodynamic farms in Italy. Here they cultivate vegetables, grains and cereals, and produce fresh cheeses, olive oil, and honey. After several years of applying biodynamic practices, their soil has been restored, reaching a degree of purity similar to wild soil.

Geek Bits
 Molise, Italy
Vintage: 2019
Grape variety: Montepulciano (50%), Merlot (25%) & Cabernet Sauvignon (25%)
Food pairing: Cured meat, cheeses, red meat
Bottle size: 75cl
ABV: 12.5%

* We recently enjoyed Vincenzo’s white, details here.  

Praline Launches Locally-inspired ‘Signature Selection’ Chocolate Gift Boxes And Lavish Homemade Afternoon Tea

Praline Pastry & Chocolate Shop Launches Locally-inspired ‘Signature Selection’ Chocolate Gift Boxes And Lavish Homemade Afternoon Tea In Time For Mother’s Day.

Praline Pastry & Chocolate Shop in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork has launched a sumptuous new signature range of handcrafted gourmet chocolates and a lavish homemade afternoon tea just in time for Mother’s Day (Sunday 27th March) - gifts guaranteed to put a smile on your mammy’s face!

Praline’s Owner and award-winning Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Norma Kelly (pictured above), has produced a ‘Signature Selection’ Chocolate Gift Box comprising six specially created fillings, each one inspired by some of her region’s top artisan food producers. Meticulously made and individually hand-painted, each flavour comes encased in the finest sustainably sourced Cacao Barry Chocolate.

Available for delivery nationwide pre and post Mother’s Day, Praline’s ‘Signature Selection’ range includes Vanilla Salted Caramel, Heather Honey & Orange, Raspberry & Passionfruit, Toffee Apple, Praline & Coffee, and Jasmine & Poppy Seed flavoured chocolates.

Praline’s Vanilla Salted Caramel in a 41% Cacao Barry milk chocolate shell showcases pure and natural gourmet salt flakes produced by O'Neill's Irish Atlantic Sea Salt on the beautiful Beara Peninsula in West Cork. For the Heather Honey & Orange flavour, Norma has paired raw Irish Ivy & Heather Honey from the hives of the Galtee Honey Farm in Burncourt, Co. Tipperary with a flavoursome homemade orange gel.

Raspberry & Passion Fruit features locally grown freeze-dried raspberries sourced from Ballyhoura mushrooms in Ballylanders, Co. Limerick - where Norma was born - combined with a zingy passion fruit purée and a Cacao Barry white chocolate ganache. Praline’s classic mouth-watering Toffee Apple is filled with caramel-flavoured white chocolate ganache and topped with an apple jelly created using award-winning pressed juice from the Traas family-run, The Apple Farm, in Cahir, Co. Tipperary.

The shop’s signature Praline & Coffee flavour - a ganache made with 35% single-origin Cacao Barry milk chocolate from Papua New Guinea infused with freshly roasted coffee from Mean Bean Coffee Co. in Waterford - is topped with a crunchy hazelnut praline layer. And, Jasmine & Poppy Seed sees 55% Cacao Barry dark chocolate ganache flavoured with Belfast-based Suki Tea Makers naturally infused Jasmine dragon pearls perfectly complemented by a crunchy poppy seed layer.

A ‘Signature Selection’ Chocolate Gift Box containing all six flavours (one of each) in 100% biodegradable packaging is available to pre-order online at for €13.00 (plus €10.00 for delivery nationwide), with a larger version containing twelve chocolates (two of each flavour) priced at €25.00 (plus €10.00 for delivery nationwide). To ensure delivery in time for Mother’s Day on Sunday 27th March, orders must be placed online before 5pm on Monday 21st March 2022. The ‘Signature Selection’ range will then continue to be available to order online for delivery nationwide for the remainder of the year.

Commenting on the launch of the ‘Signature Selection’ range, Praline Pastry & Chocolate Shop’s Owner & Chocolatier, Norma Kelly, said: “Running my own pastry and chocolate shop has been a dream come true for me. When the pandemic hit it gave me the opportunity to evolve the business from being a sit-down café to one which is now focused on takeaway, freeing me up to pursue my passion for chocolate. When I first started working with it during my training for the UK and Irish World Chocolate Masters, I discovered just how versatile it is. There are so many different flavour dimensions, perfect for pairing with the fantastic local larder that I'm lucky enough to have at my disposal. In creating the ‘Signature Selection’, I wanted to produce a range of chocolates with a real sense of place to the Ballyhoura region and I think these six flavours really showcase the local ingredients and do justice to the incredible producers that I get to work with.”

In addition to Praline’s assortment of chocolates, the shop, which first opened its doors in 2017 as a patisserie & cafe, is also offering you the chance to spoil your mother with their own take on a luxurious Afternoon Tea Box, full of tempting homemade treats.

The Afternoon Tea Box contains Araglen Free Range Egg Mayonnaise (on Praline’s signature Brown Soda Bread) and Baked Ham & Homemade Tomato Relish (on Stapleton’s Sourdough) sandwiches (x2 of each flavour). These are accompanied by Homemade Fresh Fruit Scones (x2) with Vanilla Cream and Folláin Raspberry Jam, Iced Coffee & Walnut Tea Cake (x2), and a Raspberry Mousse on a crispy White Chocolate base (x2). And if all of that doesn’t already have you licking your lips in anticipation, lucky recipients will also enjoy Praline’s hand-rolled Milk Chocolate Truffles (x2).

The homemade Afternoon Tea Box comes in fully recyclable packaging and is priced at €32.00. It is available to pre-order online at for local collection only from Praline's premises at Mitchelstown Shopping Centre, Co. Cork on Saturday 26th March (between 9am and 4pm).

Press release

Sunday, February 27, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #94. On the craft journey with Wicklow Wolf, Guinness, Whiplash, Blacks

A Quart of Ale± #94

On the craft journey with Wicklow Wolf, Guinness, Whiplash, Blacks


Wicklow Wolf “Apex Cherry” Black Cherry Oatmeal Stout 5.5%, 440 ml can Bradleys 

Not too much on the label here but I read that the ingredients include oats and cherry. Oats are used to enhance a beer’s texture, creating a velvety, creamy quality that is seen at its best in both stouts and pale ales.

It pours the expected black with a soft tanned head that gives you a few minutes of its time. Aromas are at once fruity and chocolate. And the fruit, those cherries, lead on the smooth and silky palate and across the lips, with the chocolate appearing again in the swallow before the finish comes wrapped in a refreshing moderate tartness. Not sure how much cherries were added here but the Wicklow pack got the quantity spot-on. The balance is perfect.

Brewed with Black Cherries, “this deliciously decadent 5.5% oatmeal stout is packed with layers of flavour”. Released into the wild in the first week in February. It is available nationwide in all good independent off licences and at the Wicklow Wolf Taproom (would surely love to try it there!).

Based on their well-known Apex Oatmeal Stout, this is another in the Endangered Species series and is therefore rather rare. Get yours before it goes extinct!

They say: Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. It influences how we brew, package and advertise our beers. From growing our own hops to installing state of the art systems in the brewery, we are doing all we can do reduce our footprint on the land around us. It is not all talk. Read more here   

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout 7.5%, 330ml bottle O’Donovans

After a strong recommendation from Jeff Alworth in The Beer Bible (2021) I just had to try this Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (FES). Jeff says this is a “wonderfully rich and complex beer” but he doesn’t say, at least in the book, that he has a partnership with Guinness for his amazingly popular website Beervana.

Guinness say: We can trace the origins of Foreign Extra Stout back to 1801 and the original recipe of West Indies Porter. Originally brewed to withstand long journeys, the use of higher gravity and more hops resulted in a bold tasting beer with a complex flavour profile.

Colour is, of course, black with a tan head that sinks very slowly indeed. The aromas are quite intense with a definite fruity and roast character. A finger test into the tan foam produces much the same result and that is repeated when the first sip hits the palate. 

And sipping is the way to proceed with this 7.5% bittersweet gem. Take it easy, the better to enjoy your FES.

Partner though he is (and he does disclose it quite openly on his web site), Alworth has found Guinness “hugely secretive about the process”. But his conclusion on “this wonderfully rich and complex beer” is positive: “Whatever the process, the result is one of the most intense beers on the market: a muscular 7.5% stout of great density and layered complexity.” 

Must say, and no problem saying it, that I have been highly impressed by my bottle but there is now, in Ireland, as there mostly always was, quite a lot of competition when it comes to stout and porter. 

Alworth himself, in the book, mentions Porterhouse’s Plain Porter and O’Hara’s Leann Folláin as outstanding candidates but even in the space of a few recent days I have been very highly impressed by Wicklow Wolf’s Black Cherry Oatmeal Stout and by the collaboration between Bradley’s Off Licence and Dot Brewing called Shady Dealings. 

Long live choice. Long live the multitudinous possibilities of flavour which for so long were denied us.

Whiplash Dawn Chorus Helles 5.1%, 440 ml can Bradleys

This bright clear golden lager comes from the busy Whiplash Brewery in Dublin. It has fountains of bubbles rising as the white head falls, the bubbles last much longer. The aromas with grassy and floral notes, along with some spicy notes, are moderate enough and are more or less as expected from the two hops used, Magnum and Mittelfruh, both German.

On its classic malt base, it is soft and refreshing in the mouth with light fruit (lemon) flavours and a little sweetness and just a little bitterness. Still it finishes well and overall is very easy-drinking and a good companion of an evening.

Geek Bits

Malts: Pilsner Malt, Munich Malt

Yeast: WLP833

Hops: Magnum and Mittelfruh.

Lagers and all its variants were born and bred in quite a small area of Central Europe, from Bamberg in the west to Vienna in the east is about 500km and from Gera in the north to Munich in the south is shorter at less tan 400km with Pilsen in the middle (more or less). Here you’ll find Pilsner, Helles, Märzen, Vienna Lager, Bock, Dunkel lager, Schwarzbier, and Rauchgier. A small enough geographic area from which the beer which, in one form or another, accounts for 90% of all beers produced nowadays, came.

Pils or Pilsner is a pale lager first brewed in the 1840s in the Czech town of Plzeñ (Pilsner). Helles is associated with Germany, is close to Pilsner and it is known for its soft maltiness and that is where we came in with Whiplash. 

* If you want to read more on the lager family, then check out my review of The Beer Bible here.

Blacks The Session Pink Grapefruit IPA 3.4%, 440 can O’Donovans

Packed full of hoppy goodness, and at 3.5% abv, it’s the ideal beer for days when you’re in the mood to drink a few. That’s the intro from Blacks of Kinsale to their Session Ale with a shot of Pink Grapefruit (listed as an ingredient)

Colour of this IPA is a hazy lemon/orange with a white head that fades away without really taking time to say hello. But what the beer does is to say hello, as early as the positive aromas, via the grapefruit. And the grapefruit continues the conversation on the refreshing palate, a lively sparkling palate that takes you smiling to an excellent finish.

They say that this beer is light and crisp in character with a streamlined malt structure, and the addition of new world hops bring floral, grassy and orange zest aromas to life. A taste of summer that’s available all year round!  

Have to agree. While summer may be the optimum season, there’s no reason not to enjoy it even in midwinter, fire on of course, as I am. Just don’t tell the doc as my meds forbid grapefruit!

Saturday, February 26, 2022

The Glen River Park Walk February 2022

The Glen River Park Walk February 2022 

also includes two from Silversprings area.

Pics taken 25.02.22

All with new Panasonic Lumix camera DMC-TZ80.

Lovely day for a walk!

The railings of the zig zag park entrance always remind me of a web.
I prefer the B&W below. You?

Paddy came too!

Amazing colour


Farranree church, from the Glen

Taken against the sun, even when the duck is swimming quickly (below) the reflection remains

Taking a break

Bridge and reeds

Walk (waddle?) underway.

A male passes as female rests in the sun

Our Lady Crowned, Mayfield, 24.02.2022

The Clayton at Silversprings


Thursday, February 24, 2022

Taste of the Week. Tofu from Kilbrittain

Taste of the Week.

Tofu by OTOFU from Kilbrittain

I don't come across Tofu much but, with my curiosty engaged by a lovely small plate at Vikki's in Sunday's Well recently, I was well primed to buy when I saw Ronan and Méabh's Tofu on Neighbourfood a week later and that was how it ended up as our Taste of the Week

Siolra Foods tells us that their OTOFU organic tofus, are handmade in Kilbrittain, West Cork, using an age-old process and recipe. "Our tofu has a beany, fresh flavour with a firm texture and is for those who want to add more protein to their diet or for those who want to eat less meat like myself, my partner and our toddler. Our marinated options, Korean Chilli Tofu and Miso Sesame Tofu are great for an extra kick of flavour."

"Did you know that tofu has the same protein value as eating meat, fish or eggs - and we don't compromise on taste! The soybeans we use are organic, non-GMO and European grown."

By the way,  the dish at Vikki's was Roasted Aubergine  and this came with crispy tofu, baby onions, confit tomato and rocket salad. This expertly executed plateful was rich and satisfying.

The Siolra website  is very clear and concise. It introduces you to the couple behind the venture, gives the expanding lists of stockists and also quite a few recipes.

We went with a vegetable stir-fry (ingredients bought from our local butcher Davidsons) and paired that with our Tofu purchase. They have three choices at present on Neighbourfood and we picked the Miso Sesame Marinated Firm Organic one, a rectangular "slab" weighing 250 grams. We followed the cooking instructions on the label, rather than any of 1000s on the internet (confusing!), and added the Tofu to the stir-fry for what turned out to be a very enjoyable plateful. Well worth a try.

Chef Pat Kiely's Aubergine with tofu at Vikki's.

What is Tofu? I'll let Ronan and Méabh answer that one:  Tofu is a high protein, plant-based food made from soybeans.  It has been eaten for over 2000 years and we still make it using the same 3 ingredients they used back then - soybeans, water and nigari.  It comes in many forms including firm, silken, marinated, stinky and fried to name a few.  Our tofus are firm, meaning the tofu holds it's shape when cooked and has a good bite in it's texture.  We hope to launch a silken tofu soon, which as its name suggests, brings its own culinary delights. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #92. On the craft journey with Dot Brew, Bradleys, Whitefield, Wicklow Wolf, Mourne Mountains

A Quart of Ale± #92

On the craft journey with Dot Brew, Bradleys, Whitefield, Wicklow Wolf, Mourne Mountains


Bradleys & Dot Brew Shady Dealings BA Extra Stout 8.5%, 440 ml can Bradleys

This amazing barrel-aged (BA) stout has a very low carbonation so don’t expect much of a head on the black body. And that is how it pours out, black with a thin tan disc that slinks away very quickly. There’s a light fruitiness in the aromas and more on the rich velvety palate, dark fruits now though and chocolate, and there’s a sweetness too from the cask.

The cask? Dot Brew explain: Shady Dealings was originally meant for the export market but we've hijacked the shipment and brought it down to the real capital. This 8.5% illicit imperial export stout is aged in Banyuls dessert wine barrels and punches dark fruits and lush chocolate. Just don’t let anyone know how we got it…"

Where’s that 8.5%? The collaborators justifiably ask. You hardly notice it and this is so well balanced that the abv just doesn’t get the chance to take centre stage and swallow everything else up, depriving the beer of any display of individual character. Still, it is 8.5% so do take their advice and sip this from a wine glass. Sip and savour for there is much to savour.

Banyuls dessert wines come from the south-eastern corner of Roussillon, southern France, in the lower reaches of the eastern Pyrenees, just a few miles from the Spanish border. These sweet vins doux naturels are drunk both as aperitifs and as dessert wines. 

Quite a few Irish will have holidayed in the area, families in particular in the campsites around the beaches of Argeles sur Mer. Wish that I were there now with the beach out front, a glass of Banyuls or even of Shady Dealings (personally exported of course) and a lovely meal to come with the edges of the waves splashing gold as the setting sun leisurely slips behind the mountain tops. 

Might have to settle for a picnic table in Inchydoney. How bad! Or, keep a few cans in stock until next Christmas and sip it with the pudding! Or maybe there’s a 2021 pudding hidden away somewhere here. Must check.

Banyuls, with hilly sandy vineyard in foreground left.

Whitefield Ivy Hall Dark Lager 5.2%, 500ml bottle Bradleys

The label tells this is a Bavarian style Dunkel, a lager style beer, with a smooth velvet finish! 

Colour is as black as you’d expect and it comes with an impressive tan coloured head. It is probably the best head I’ve poured from a can or bottle over the past 12 months or so. That head is creamy and so is what follows on, yes, a very smooth palate indeed with a mild touch of caramel sweetness. You may not think this is a lager early on but the finish is dry and lip smackingly refreshing. 

A very satisfying beer and a very satisfactory style thanks to Cuilan and his team in Templemore. And big thanks too are due to the descendants of the last king of Bavaria König Ludwig III. Whitefield tell us the former royal family were largely responsible for saving this lager style.

It may befuddle the senses with those early sips but you’ll quickly grow to like it! Don’t be afraid of the dark! A lovely beer for these mid-winter days but it will also be very acceptable in the summertime. Dunkel simply means a dark German lager. 

This Ivy Hall, previously the Dark Lady, is yet another superb beer from Templemore. As you probably know, there is ongoing rebranding with the main change being that the White Gypsy brewery name has been changed to Whitefield.  “As part of the rebrand we wanted to link everything to our locality and Ivy Hall is a towns land in Templemore.”

By the way, how did you come to real ale? In an interesting piece on their website here Cuilan admits to having his first in a bar at Heathrow Airport!

Wicklow Wolf Canis Rufus Red Rye IPA 5.5%, 440 ml can Bradleys 

The updated Beer Bible (well worth getting your hands on) says Rye thrives in poor soil, so its use in both bread and beer has been concentrated in colder, harsher regions. Finns and Russians used it to make their traditional beers. I was thinking that the endangered Red Wolf (Canis Rufus) also came from these northern lands but no, the handful that are left are mostly in the south east of the US. 

Red, a murky one, is the colour of this Wicklow Wolf beer. Aromas have a touch of the wild with notes of resin but there’s also a fruity element with citrus to the fore. And the fruit is prominent on the complex toothsome palate, the balance, and it is very nicely balanced, coming from the sweet malt with, of course, the spice from the rye.

The Endangered Species brews are a series of small batch, limited edition crafted beers. These beers are so rare that only a lucky few will get to experience them in the wild before they become extinct and this one is inspired by the Red Wolf.

They say: We have taken a classic American style IPA with American hops and given it a Classic Irish Twist. Citra and Chinook make up the double dry hop addition to this IPA… This is a fiercely bold Red IPA in honour of the Red Wolf.


Mourne Gold Pale Ale 4.0%, 440 ml can Bradleys

Gold is the name and gold is the colour of this Pale Ale, my first beer from the Mourne Mountains Brewery, Warrenpoint, Co. Down. No shortage of rising bubbles either and a white top that gives you a few minutes of its time.

Malts used include Cara Gold and that can help enhance the colour and give a softer mouthfeel. The lightly roasted Amber brings a deeper malty flavour to the party and helps balance the hops.

They use a combination of German, English and American hop varieties for a clean bitterness, spicy kettle hop flavour; and a floral, fruity hop aroma. All more or less borne out with the first few sips. Well balanced and easy drinking, this comfort beer (it doesn’t wander outside of the style) can be recommended for your session shortlist. And for mine!

They say: Mourne Mountains Brewery was founded in 2015, situated in the foothills of the beautiful Mourne Mountains. At our 16HL brewery in Warrenpoint we brew a diverse range of beers from fruited sours to imperial pastry stouts and highly-hopped IPAs - all vegan friendly!

At our traditional brewhouse we use the finest whole leaf hops from around the world and the highest quality brewing malt but the ingredient we treasure the most is our water supply. Originating in the high Mournes, it is beautifully soft and perfect for brewing a wide variety of beer styles.


press release


Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman unveils his second Midleton Very Rare vintage – and the 39th in the series – on ‘Annual Vintage Day’

Irish Distillers, maker of some of the world’s most enjoyed whiskeys, has unveiled the eagerly awaited second Midleton Very Rare annual vintage to be released by Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman.

For the 39th edition in the renowned and highly collectable range, O’Gorman and the team of highly skilled whiskey makers at Midleton distillery, Co. Cork, once again enjoyed the pick of the finest whiskeys in the distiller’s inventory.

The Midleton Very Rare legacy began over four decades ago when the then masters, ever keen to create exemplary expressions, began setting aside small amounts of exceptionally performing whiskey for a new luxury offering in the world of Irish whiskey. Today, Midleton Very Rare is globally renowned as the pinnacle of Irish whiskey.

Drawing heavily from Midleton’s much-coveted ‘A2’ traditional stone warehouse dating back to the 1860s, O’Gorman and his team selected a blend of single pot still and single grain whiskeys from the inventory to create a whiskey worthy to carry the name of Midleton Very Rare for the latest annual vintage.

Featuring whiskeys aged between 12 and 33 years matured in lightly charred first fill and refill ex-bourbon American oak barrels, O’Gorman continued to draw on his wealth of experience of both distillation and maturation to maintain a significant contribution from the excellent single grain whiskeys in Midleton’s inventory, while once again allowing the pot still component to express itself within a delicately blended vintage.

“As with any Midleton Very Rare Vintage, we start the search for our perfect components many months in advance, in a bid to create the luxurious, balanced aroma and taste profile for which this annual release is renowned,” explains O’Gorman. “Drawing predominantly from our historic A2 warehouse, we have selected a blend of whiskeys that work together beautifully – from superb grain whiskeys dating back to 1989 with beautiful floral and rosewater notes, to some truly wonderful pot still whiskeys from 2009 that offer a delightful fruit element with citrus.”

Beginning the search for the perfect blend from Midleton’s inventory in summer 2021, O’Gorman and the Midleton team sampled whiskeys from hundreds of casks that have been set aside over many years for potential inclusion in a prestigious Midleton Very Rare annual vintage.

Focusing on a small collection of casks considered to be at their optimal moment for selection, O’Gorman then worked with three prototypes that all offered an experience worthy of the pinnacle of Irish whiskey, only settling on his ultimate selection after taking all three home for a weekend of final tasting and consideration.

“We were delighted to create three incredibly strong liquids for consideration, all worthy of becoming a Midleton Very Rare annual vintage,” adds O’Gorman. “In the end, I kept returning to the vintage we are launching today, a stunning whiskey bursting with notes of fruit and citrus, a palate of caramelised red apples, orange zest with luscious, sweet, decadent waves of crème brûlée, and culminating in a rich and lasting finish.”

In keeping with the traditions of the Midleton masters, part of the job for O’Gorman and his team was to check the progress of those whiskeys already set aside for potential future inclusion, as well as to lay down the finest new distillate.

Blender Deirdre O’Carroll explains: “Our annual Midleton Very Rare vintage is not only a unique opportunity to re-nose some of the very finest whiskeys in our inventory, but also to consider which distillates and casks we should place into warehouse A2 for our forward planning. This is an extremely enjoyable experience knowing that some of these casks that we’ve put aside may be selected as part of a vintage many years from now.”

Bottled from a single vatting during January 2022 at 40% ABV, Midleton Very Rare 2022 will be available over the coming months in the USA, Canada, Global Travel Retail, Europe, Australia, and Asia at the RRP of €200.  

IG: @MidletonVeryRare
Shop online:

Tasting Notes


Fruit-led introduction with fresh citrus notes of mandarin and candied apple, while dustings of white pepper with grated nutmeg deliver subtle levels of spice that complement the rich and velvety tones of hazelnut chocolate and toffee. Carefully balanced, the charred oak works in tandem with the elegant grain character, elevating the delicate and nuanced fresh floral tones with the addition of sweet vanilla and warming toasted wood aromas.


Caramelised red apples and orange zest with luscious, sweet, and decadent waves of crème brûlée that seamlessly intertwine with the pot still spices and cereal undertones, creating an intriguing and wonderful medley of fruits and spices.


Rich and lasting finish in which the grain and pot still spices are the first to softly fade, allowing the oak – after years of carefully maturing the spirit – to have the final say.