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Midleton Very Rare Launches $60k 40th Anniversary Whiskey

The one-of-a-kind bottle is encrusted with 18-carat gold and hand-cut rubies.

By Kim Ayling

In celebration of its four decades creating some of Ireland’s most coveted whiskey, Midleton Very Rare has pulled out all the stops with the release of its 40th Anniversary Ruby Edition.

The special liquid marks a culmination of the meticulous work carried out by the three Midleton master distillers from the past 40 years: Barry Crockett, Brian Nation and Kevin O’Gorman. O’Gorman, the current master distiller, chose spirit laid down by him and his predecessors to represent each era. He then combined the liquids in a ruby port cask (selected for a ruby’s connotation as a traditional 40th-anniversary gift) for nine months.

Individually these three whiskeys act as the peak of Irish distilling from their respective era; together, they pay testament to Midleton’s enduring status as one of the nation’s finest distillers. The decision to use ruby port for the blend’s final aging has created a new layer to the brand’s signature style, with rich bursts of dark fruits such as blackcurrant, raspberry and plum.

[See also: The Best Irish Whiskey Brands in the World]

midleton ruby encrusted whiskey
The bottle was created in collaboration with Cork-based Keanes Jewellers / ©Midleton Very Rare

“This exquisite release brings influence from all three master distillers and not only helps us to preserve the knowledge of Midleton Distillery’s past masters but builds on it by evolving the art of distillation and maturation with the addition of the ruby port cask,” says O’Gorman. “It has been a privilege to play a part in the creation of this pinnacle of Irish whiskey and I look forward to continuing to evolve the Midleton Very Rare brand.”

The pinnacle of this milestone launch is a one-off bottle, created in partnership with Cork-based jeweler, Keanes Jewellers. Sold as a collectible NFT via BlockBar, this edition features a hand-engraved 18-carat solid gold neck and stopper, with 32 rubies encased within the neck collar.

[See also: The Devil’s Keep 2023: The Record-breaking Irish Whiskey Returns]

The opening bid will be $60,000, with the online auction open until March 7, 2024. On its sale, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Forest Genetic Resources Trust – a charity that supports the conservation of native and naturalized tree species in Irish forestry.

But don’t fret if you fail to bag the one-off release. The Midleton Very Rare 40th Anniversary Ruby Edition will also be available in bespoke Waterford Crystal decanter, designed and made at its Ireland workshop. Priced at €20,000, ($21,666), the bottle will feature a four-point design in homage to Midleton’s four decades and is presented in a FSC-certified wooden cabinet.

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Midleton Very Rare 40th Anniversary Ruby Edition tasting notes*

Nose: Opens with a rich and delightful burst of berry fruits as notes of blackcurrant, raspberry, and plum come to the fore. A delicate perfume, with aromatic spices and an earthy woodland character, is complemented by orchard fruits and citrus peel, while the seasoned oak imparts sweet vanilla, cinnamon, and fragrant honeycomb. The elegance of the grain whiskey quietly emerges to reveal soft and nuanced floral undertones.

Taste: At first succulent fruits are met with pot still spices, imparting notes of freshly grated ginger and clove oil. The oak’s soft tannins combined with a nutty character impart notes of flaked almonds and nutmeg which are wonderfully balanced by the seasoned port cask’s contribution of ripe berry fruits, cassis, and dark chocolate.

Finish: Luxuriously long and satisfying. The seasoned oak, fruits and spice continue to linger, eventually yielding only to time.

*Provided by Midleton Very Rare

[See also: The Whisky Exchange Cabinet Announces Glenlivet Drop]

*Provided by Midleton Very Rare

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