Whisky Focus - Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Edition Review

Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Edition


17th November 2017
Midleton unveil the next chapter in their virgin Irish oak collection, Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Edition.

Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest EditionThose of you who had the pleasure of the outstanding Midleton Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood release will be very pleased to hear that Irish Distillers have unveiled the second edition in their Midleton Dair Ghaelach series of virgin Irish oak finished Single Pot Still whiskey's. The latest expression from the creative folks at Midleton is the Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest edition.

Midleton Dair Ghaelach (which is Gaelic for ‘Irish oak’ and pronounced ‘Dar Gay Lock’) Bluebell Forest edition is a combination of 12 to 23 year old Irish single pot still whiskey and has been matured primarily in American oak barrels and finished in virgin Irish oak for 18 months.

In the case of this new Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest edition the oak was grown in the Bluebell Forest of Castle Blunden Estate in County Kilkenny. This new release follows the release of Midleton Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood expression in February 2015 which was finished in oak sourced from Grinsell's Wood in the Ballaghtobin Estate, County Kilkenny.

Each bottle of the Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest edition can be traced back to one of six individual 130 year old Irish oak trees that were carefully felled in the Bluebell Forest on the Castle Blunden Estate in County Kilkenny in May of 2013.

Kevin O’Gorman, Head of Maturation at Midleton Distillery, commented on the latest Dair Ghaelach expression, saying: "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 on the Castle Blunden Estate in County Kilkenny

"The nuances in flavour in the two editions of Midleton Dair Ghaelach come from our native wood, and offer whiskey fans a true flavour of Ireland – the range has provenance unlike any Irish whiskey before it and we look forward to exploring more of Ireland’s woodlands further in the years to come."

I haven't had the opportunity to taste the new  Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest edition whiskey so I can't comment on whether it matches up to the quality of the outstanding
Grinsell’s Wood expression but I shall certainly update you if I do taste it meanwhile the official tasting note is below to wet your appetite.

Bottled at cask strength, between 55.30% to 56.30% ABV, and without the use of chill filtration, Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest will be available from this month in the US, Canada, Ireland, France and the UK at the RRP of $280/£211 per 70cl bottle. You will find it available from specialist whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt
 

Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Review


Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Rich pot still spices are elevated by the clipped tannins of the toasted Irish oak. Fresh woodland character mingles with faint vanilla, giving the succulence of zesty pink grapefruit and pineapple along with ripe berries and green banana. The Irish oak influence imparts milk chocolate and honeycomb sweetness.

Taste: Beautifully round and silky smooth with naturally sweet compounds from the Irish oak in harmony with the pot still spices. A touch of mango and kiwi bring some fruit undertones as the prickle of clove and cinnamon add their voice.

Finish: Exceptionally long with soft sweet spices finally giving way to the proud Irish oak
 

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