Whisky Focus - Method and Madness Mulberry Wood Finish

Method and Madness Mulberry Wood Finish


26th March 2021
Irish Distillers experimental whiskey brand Method and Madness has launched a virgin Mulberry wood finished single pot still whiskey.

Method and Madness, Irish Distillers experimental whiskey brand has unveiled a new limited edition Irish single pot still expression, Method and Madness Mulberry Wood, which has been finished in virgin mulberry Wood.

This is the first Irish whiskey to have been finished in mulberry wood, in fact I can only recall one Scotch whisky distillery ever experimenting with Mulberry wood, that was Strathearn distillery a few years ago and they only released some young whisky spirit which had been matured in mulberry wood while they were waiting on their whisky coming of age.

Mulberry wood barrels are occasionally used in the production of gin or brandy. For example mulberry wooden barrels are used in Rumania to distil local plums and other fruits into brandy, the brandy matures very quickly, in fact after just a few weeks in the mulberry wooden barrels the brandy would gain substantial flavour and colour while losing some of its alcohol content, something which would take months and years in an oak barrel. The alcohol also dissolves some of the wood giving the brandy its golden, clear shine.

Irish Distillers tell me that they sourced the white Mulberry wood to finish the new Method and Madness expression in central Hungary, where the local climate creates the perfect growing conditions. The wood was harvested and air-dried for two years at the Kádár sawmills in Tokaj before being transferred to a cooperage in Budapest. The relatively high porosity and medium toasting of the Mulberry Wood casks impart elevated flavours of wood spices and enhanced toffee sweetness, along with a natural golden hue to the whiskey.

The new Method and Madness Mulberry Wood whiskey is a single pot still distillate which was was first matured in a combination of first fill and re-fill American Oak barrels, before being left to finish in 50-litre Mulberry Wood casks for between three and eight months which given the known power of Mulberry wood is quite a long finish so it is sure to have an impact on the pot still whiskey.

Bottled at 46% ABV, the resulting whiskey is described by Irish Distillers as being wonderfully complex with notes of smoked paprika, flavours of sweet toffee apple and a freshly cut wood character imparted from the virgin Mulberry Wood.

I haven't tasted this one so I cant comment on the quality of it or the intensity of flavours the Mulberry wood has imparted on the pot still whiskey they produce at Midleton distillery, if you want to taste it yourself it has a RRP of €95.

You will find the new Mulberry Wood Finish as well as the current Method and Madness whiskey range available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt
 

Method and Madness Mulberry Wood Finish Review


Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Caramelised Toffee Apple. Freshly Cut Wood. Toasted Pine Nuts.

Taste: Sweet Pear. Green Apple. Smoked Paprika.

Finish: Deep & Mellow. Lingering Fruits. Intense Wood Spice.
 

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