Method And Madness – French Chestnut

Recently from the Micro Distillery in Midleton came this new expression finished in French chestnut what made questions rise about the rules and the history behind it all pretty quickly, wondering what the thought process behind this all is. Well, the rules for Irish whiskey seem to give a bit more wiggle room in the kind of woods used in maturation so there are a good list of options available for this distillery to experiment with in the #MethodAndMadness range. Bear in mind that when I say chestnut it is not the common known tree we see outside, but it is the sweet chestnut, related to the oak family.

The differences between this kind of wood and for instance the standard used ones in the industry is the density of the cask and therefor the interaction it gives, with an extra fruity and spicy profile. These chestnut casks used for the finish of this expression were given a medium toasting level before it was filled with the single pot still Irish whisky that was first matured in a combination of ex-oloroso sherry and ex-bourbon barrels.  It is bottled without chill filtration at 46%.

Lets have a closer look at this dram in front of me and see what it can give me on the nose and palate. At first it gives me a very fruity and fresh feeling on the nose, mixed with soft fresh wood shaving notes and creamy lemon curd. Gentle notes of different nuts, powdered sugar, warm dried fruits, cinnamon buns, vanilla sponge cake, apple, banana follow along quickly. Underneath this all I can smell the warm fruity notes mixed with orange freshness, red summer fruits and soft spices working very well together. A very promising and rich nose, and with some time in the glass it seems to give me even more notes that reminds me of a walk in the forrest just when the seasons are changing and life is all around giving off great flavours.

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Balanced palate, giving me the same array of notes found on the nose before but adding some mint, lemon and liquorice to it all. Creamy vanilla, mocha, rich nutty flavours, soft spices, fresh nougat, candied ginger and different red and black summer fruits together with the fudge and apples on the good length finish. A lovely mix from nose to palate and on to the finish, with fresh, sweet and rich notes. I can feel the influence of the casks used in the maturation and must say enjoy this one very much. Loved it at the first taste at the launch events and now back home tasting it again it still puts a smile on my face. Very grateful for the sample send over by Irish Distillers and will now look out for a large bottle of this beauty so it can be enjoyed some more here… Looking forward to what the future for #MethodAndMadness has in store!

p.s. Looking for the other expressions in this release? Check out the notes then of the  31 year old grain, French Limousin and single grain expressions.

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