Method & Madness French Chestnut Finish Tasting Notes
Method & Madness French Chestnut Finish
Single Pot Still
Tasting note compiled by Mark McLaughlin (@mark_rye)
The first Single Pot Still whiskey to be released in the Method & Madness range was this expression, a non-age statement Single Pot Still whiskey taking components whiskeys from ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks before finishing in virgin French Chestnut casks sourced from a local cooperage in the Isere region in the South East of France.
Chestnut wood had been used for transport of wines and spirits historically, it was readily available, relatively cheap, and no more difficult to create casks from than oak. Chestnut wood is known to be high in gallic acid, which helps create large amounts of flavour in spirits, along with large amounts of tannin which will greatly change the texture or mouthfeel of a product.
When compared with oak the two woods have relatively similar chemical compositions, Chestnut has a significantly wider grain, making the wood markedly more porous, meaning that it can be difficult to maintain over long periods of time, it may be prone to leaking.
Golden amber, fill a large glass and it gets deeper and deeper.
Immediately rich, if I didn’t know any better, I’d shout European oak finish, it’s deeply fruit driven, with bouncing liquorice, which turns quite minty and finds its way to pink peppercorns. The nutty characteristic of the pot still distillate shines through with a touch of almond and an almost smoky hazelnut, all balanced by chocolate fudge.
Palate & Finish
Tremendously oily with textures that immediately take you away from traditional oak maturation, lovely depth of fruit character with balancing spice, it never gets aggressive but yet punches flavour to the edges of the palate. The woodiness, for lack of a better term, is delighting me, warming and delectably full of spice. Coconut shavings, cinnamon, dried banana and ginger all ground up with a pestle and mortar.
This is the type of whiskey I’d go to if I wanted to be challenged and surprised but not actually have to be challenged or surprised. This will certainly not be for everyone, it’s distinct, a step outside the norm for Midleton and the norm for single pot still, some will not take to it, and to those I say, pass the glass to me.
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