Midleton Very Rare 2014

MVR '14

Reviewed by
Connosr member:

talexander

Date:

12th Dec 2014

Reviewer rating:

75

About this score:

  • Nose: 20
  • Taste: 19
  • Finish: 18
  • Balance: 18

Best price to buy online:

Tasting Notes by talexander

Back in March I reviewed the Midleton Very Rare 2013 bottling, scoring it a 91. The significant production difference in the 2014 bottling is the Master Distiller. The 2013 was Barry Crockett's last MVR (the annual release he started back in 1984); the 2014 is the first from his successor, Brian Nation.

The colour is golden but with an orange hue - unusual. On the nose, rather sweet-smelling with notes of toffee, honey, marmalade and well-charred oak. Vanilla winds through it all. Oiled leather. The faintest hint of cardamom. Water only serves to mute the nose. Distinctive in that it's both rather sweet and oaky - huge bourbon cask influence. Unusual but only partly successful.

On the palate we find more spice (caraway, cinnamon, nutmeg), as well as a tart orange note. Very, very fruity but almost in an artificial way - like Gummy Bears! Or even Tang - which becomes more dominant with water. Honey and spice add some body but it's overwhelmed by the cloying orange. Rather unfortunate.

The finish is chalky and a little fuzzy with orange zest, lip-smacking oak and soft caramels. It's surprisingly difficult to discern the pot-still influence, having been subsumed by the casks. And I'm sure they were very good casks - the sweet vanilla bourbon American oak is there in fine form - but it becomes something else entirely in conjunction with this delicate spirit. But it is very different than the 2013 (which I'm tasting right now side-by-side), which is more delicate, fruitier, spicier and in lovely harmony with the oak. Not a great start, Mr. Nation, but I have faith! Note that the 2014 bottling was very recently awarded Irish Whiskey of the Year by Whisky Advocate magazine. Well, to each their own.

Tags

Whisky details

Distillery/Brand:

Midleton

Bottling:

Very Rare 2014

ABV:

40%

Colour:

Young Sauternes

Comments

Victor

Victor wrote:

Very interesting review. Tang? Jeez, does anyone alive want her/his whisky to taste like Tang?

@talexander, I trust your taste over Whisky Advocate any day. Thanks for the very informative review.

15 December 2014 21:06
talexander

talexander wrote:

I guess Jonny McCormick likes Tang in his whiskey - he wrote the review for WA! In any event, I'll let it oxidize for a while and see if that helps.

15 December 2014 21:21
Victor

Victor wrote:

If you bought a full bottle, what else can you do but hope for improvement with air time? If no improvement there is always vatting....

15 December 2014 21:28
talexander

talexander wrote:

Tasting it now, after it has oxidized for over three months, that awful Tang note has faded and the whisky is quite good - not brilliant, but good.

03 April 2015 19:42
Victor

Victor wrote:

Good to hear that that expensive bottle is tasting better.

03 April 2015 20:46

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