Irish Distillers has unveiled the next chapter in its Virgin Irish Oak Collection of Single Pot Still Irish Whiskeys; Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest edition.
This new edition has been finished in barrels made from Irish oak grown in the Bluebell Forest of Castle Blunden Estate in County Kilkenny.
Dair Ghaelach, which is Gaelic for ‘Irish oak’, is the result of an eight-year exploration by the expert production team at the Midleton Distillery, County Cork, into using native oak to mature Irish whiskey and follows the previous release of Midleton Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood in February 2015.
The Irish Distillers team of Kevin O’Gorman, Head of Maturation, and Billy Leighton, Head Blender, in collaboration with expert forestry consultant, Paddy Purser, chose Bluebell Forest on Castle Blunden Estate to provide the oak for the second edition in the Midleton Dair Ghaelach series. Each of the bottles can be traced back to one of six individual 130-year-old oak trees that were carefully felled in the Bluebell Forest in May of 2013.
Kevin O’Gorman, Head of Maturation at Midleton Distillery, commented “It is a joy to be able to showcase more of our experimentation with maturation in Irish oak through the release of Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest. The naturally sweet compounds found in Irish oak work in perfect harmony with this whiskey to deliver milk chocolate and honeycomb on the nose, a beautifully round and silky-smooth mouth feel and a long, pot still finish.”
Bluebell Forest is found among the historic stone walls of Castle Blunden Estate in County Kilkenny. Since the 1600s, generations of the Blunden Family have watched over a stand of Irish oak trees with a carpet of luminescent bluebells covering the forest floor. The carefully felled oak from these woods imparts its character and nuances into Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest to create an intrinsically Irish whiskey with historical provenance, traceability and a clear link to the sustainability and rejuvenation of Irish oak.
The whiskey is bottled at cask strength, between 55.30% to 56.30% ABV, and without the use of chill filtration.
Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest is available from November 2017 in markets including the US, Canada, Ireland, France and the UK.