The SOMM Journal

April / May 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 100 of 108

100 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } APRIL/MAY 2016 { fine spirits } AT A RECENT EVENT IN NEW YORK City, Pernod Ricard revealed the latest innovations to join its prestigious portfolio, Midleton Dair Ghaelach and Green Spot Château Léoville Barton single pot still Irish whiskeys. To discover the inspiration behind the spirits, Midleton Distillery's Master of Maturation, Kevin O'Gorman, and U.S. Brand Ambassador, Jessamine McLellan, guided us on a journey from Ireland's upland oak groves to the wine cellars of Bordeaux, where provenance and history converged to delicious effect. "Single pot still whiskeys are an incred - ible part of Irish whiskey heritage," said McLellan. "With these innovations, our ability to deviate from standard production methods to create whiskeys of elegance and flavors unique to Ireland is showcased in a very exciting way." Irish single pot still whiskey must be distilled from a mash of partially and fully malted barley (unlike single malts, which must be fully malted grain), then triple-dis - tilled. What sets Midleton's Dair Ghaelach "Grinsell's Wood" Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey (SRP $270) apart is the matura - tion process: A select range of 15–22 year old distillates are finished in hogshead casks made from virgin Irish oak, then bottled at cask strength (58.2% ABV). "Dair Ghaelach means Irish Oak," explained O'Gorman, referring to Quercus petraea, Ireland's national tree. "Dair is the first Irish whiskey in over 200 years to be matured in indigenous wood. Nine trees were felled to produce 48 barrels, and every bottle is traceable to a single tree by a number on the label." Because Irish oak is more porous than American oak, impact on the whiskey is distinct. Dair Ghaelach recalls robust notes of woodland spice and heather, sweet vanilla, candied orange, almond paste, ripe plum and coffee cake on a long, smooth finish marked by dried apricots and warm spices. With another nod towards Irish heritage, Green Spot Château Léoville Barton Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey (SRP $100) is matured in oloroso Sherry casks for eight to nine years then completes 12–24 months of further maturation in ex-Bordeaux French oak casks from the eponymous Saint-Julien Grand Cru estate (the Barton family is of Irish descent). Coined by Mitchell & Son, seventh-generation wine and spirits merchants in Dublin, Green Spot refers to the practice of marking whiskey casks with different colored paints to designate age; Green Spot emerged as the merchant's most popular whiskey. With classic single pot still spiciness, it is indeed a winner, evoking fresh orchard fruits and floral notes overlaid with wine-inspired hints of ripe berries and sweet vanilla. Midleton Dair Ghaelach and Green Spot Château Léoville Barton are expected on the U.S. market in this spring. Single Pots of Gold PERNOD RICARD'S IRISH DISTILLERS GROUP UNVEILS TWO NEW SINGLE POT STILL WHISKEYS by Cliff Rames PHOTO COURTESY OF IRISH DISTILLERS The Midleton Garden Stillhouse came online two years ago to handle increasing demand for Irish whiskey.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SOMM Journal - April / May 2016