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Since I'm going to be away next week (I'm not returning until St. Patrick's Day), I thought I'd do a few Irish, as I am wont to do this time of year. Not sure when I'll get to the others - might not be for a while, as it's a busy weekend! Though one should never be too busy for whisky...or whiskey...
I've reviewed a couple of Midleton Very Rares before. The first expression I had was delicious; the second left a bit to be desired (well, more than a bit). But I find the batch variation interesting rather than frustrating, so let's see how the latest 2015 edition fares (which I opened on Dec 19 2015), while comparing it to the 2014 edition (which I opened about a year earlier and scored a 75).
The colour is a deep yellow gold. On the nose there is so much honey, I feel like Winnie the Pooh! Sweet malt, butterscotch, poached pear and buttered pastry. Toasted oak. Fresh oranges (but not that Tang-like orange that killed the 2014 Edition). Hint of walnut. Coconut - and wow, even more coconut with water, along with papaya and mango. Rich and creamy.
On the palate the honey is thinner, but still delicious: toffee, milk chocolate, subtle spice and macadamia. Somehow the mouthfeel is thin but at the same time, creamy (even creamier with water). Savoury herbs, like sage. Nice balance between sweet and dry, and incredibly smooth and easy to drink!
The long finish is spicier than you might expect, with buttered toast and coconut creme. Much stronger than the 2014 (and closer in profile to the 2013). The colour on the 2014 had weird orange highlights, a more cloying nose and a slightly off-putting palate (I had hoped oxidation would have helped in the last year, but alas it has not). Well worth your time and funds to seek this one out.