I recently dreamt I had gone to a party in pyjamas. In case you don’t follow, let me explain – it wasn’t a pyjama party, which would have been pretty weird at my age. It was a regular party, except I was wearing pyjamas – yes, those good old classic blue-striped pyjamas.
In the dream, I seemed to be the only one aware I was in nightclothes, which was really embarrassing irrespective of the others’ opinions. I tried to convince myself that it could actually be worse – I could have been in fancy dress… dressed up as a pimp or Barney (from the flintstones, not Barney Stinson). It was no use however, it’s just a sort of burning inadequacy.
Later, I was wondering what it would be like if this happened in real life. If I went to work in my pyjamas, for example, I would probably be sent home, given some clothes or they’d take my photo and post it on social media. But maybe they would respect me – I would be there, comfortably dressed, challenging tradition and proving I could be better wearing pyjamas.
Perhaps the people at the Irish distillery Midleton dreamt the same thing. Maybe they just woke up one day and decided to challenge tradition, because they just released an Irish whiskey that is not matured in European oak barrels formerly used for sherry or port. Neither is it finished in American oak bourbon barrels, or virgin or simply oak – it is finished in (wait for it) chestnut barrels.
Conveniently called Method & Madness Single Pot Still, the whiskey is matured in a combination of oak barrels that previously contained sherry and bourbon and finished (for an undisclosed period of time) in French chestnut barrels.
You might not have understood the concept. So, let me open proverbial brackets to explain. Irish pot stills are different from single malts. The denomination indicates that the Irish whiskey was distilled in copper stills, the style of malts. However, malted and non-malted barley were used in its ingredients, contrary to a single malt, which uses only malted barley.
Back to Method & Madness Single Pot Still. In the words of the distillery “Method & Madness is a whiskey brand hatched from the minds of the Masters and Apprentices of Midleton Distillery. (…) When great minds collide, incredible creations can emerge (…) There will be a trial, and error, and brilliant bottled breakthroughs that start with ‘What if?’ (…). Innovation is nothing new to Midleton but the new micro distillery has provided the copper canvas for experimentation to run free. The whiskeys coming out of this distillers’ playground provide a new taste from Irish whiskey history.”
And about the new release “A Single Pot Still whiskey aged in chestnut casks, a combination of what we’ve always done in Midleton and what we’ve never tried before. It’s not often we stray from the traditional oak, but one sip suggests it was well worth the deviation. Incidentally, the Method & Madness is consistent with this concept.
The Method & Madness Single Pot Still is a spicy, almond flavoured whisky (or is it chestnut?) and it’s lightly floral. When I tried it, I caught myself several times trying to separate in my head what the influence of the traditional oak might be, and what the chestnut added to the whiskey.
I think the great thing is exactly that – the curiosity and the investigation. Be that as it may, Method & Madness Single Pot Still is an extremely interesting whiskey that is certainly worth a try – and believe me, I’ve tried it – its’s even better in your pyjamas.
METHOD & MADNESS SINGLE POT STILL IRISH WHISKEY
Type: Irish Whiskey
Aroma: Almond, floral, cut grass.
Flavour: Spicy with more almonds (or chestnuts?), and a light liquorice finish, spicy.