Friday, January 24, 2020


Irish Distillers, has today announced the launch of the third expression in its Midleton Dair Ghaelach collection.

Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest (56.1% ABV) has been matured in barrels made from virgin Irish oak grown in Knockrath Forest, County Wicklow.
Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest

The story of Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach, which translates as ‘Irish oak’, began over a decade ago when the Midleton Masters, ever keen to innovate and create unique and exemplary whiskeys, decided to explore the possibility of maturing Irish whiskey in native oak.

Led by Master of Maturation Kevin O’Gorman, Master Cooper Ger Buckley and Master Blender Billy Leighton, the team at Midleton set out to source sustainable Irish oak from estates throughout Ireland to produce a series of whiskeys, each with their own individual history and taste profile, that could be traced back to the specific tree from which the oak cask was made.

For this latest release, the Midleton team selected the Knockrath estate in the ancient Vale of Clara where the oak has grown for more than 150 years amidst the landscape of mountains and lakes.

Known for its cool summers and heavy rainfall, the climate of County Wicklow impacts the density and porosity of the oak. This, in addition to a lighter toasting of the wood and unique combination of distillates, is said to have resulted in subtle flavour differences between Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest and its predecessors, Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood and Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest.

Commenting on the launch, Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation, said: “Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest is an amazing 150-year journey from Knockrath Forest to bottle and one we’re proud to be part of. Traceability and sustainability are at the heart of this whiskey and, until we started this project, Irish oak had not been used to mature whiskey for well over 100 years. Today, thanks to sustainable practices, we can harvest small volumes and trace each bottle right back to the very oak tree that helped to create it. This has, in turn, fostered an awareness and appreciation among whiskey lovers that there is even a subtle difference between trees which contributes to a whiskey’s unique flavour.”

Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest, will be available later this month from selected specialist retailers, for a RRP of €310.00.

Posted by Steve Rush