Irish Distillers’ Method And Madness is out with a fourth, limited edition expression from its new line of Irish whiskeys. This bottling takes a big step away from its traditional bottlings of single grain, single malt, and single pot still whiskeys, setting of a triple-distilled mash of rye (60%) and malted barley (40%), which is matured in ex-bourbon American oak barrels (no age statement provided).
5000 bottles have been made available for the U.S.
The use of rye — at least in this proportion — is a big shift for Ireland, so let’s see how it all pans out.
The whiskey pours a bright and pretty shade of light gold, evoking youth and summertime in a glass. The nose is spot on with those expectations: Sweet and lightly layered with cereal, well-honeyed but showcasing a strong note of baking spice and white pepper that adds nuance to the experience beyond the usual elements of Irish.
The palate continues the theme: chewy caramel and vanilla, with cinnamon and ginger spices, then a stronger and more earnest character clearly driven by the rye. It’s not just the peppery spice and light touches of green grass but the richer, bolder body — aided by the 46% abv — that make an impressive impact. Fans (and non-fans) of American rye should note that this experience is decidedly different, closer to a Canadian whisky than anything made in the U.S. The pungent notes of green herbs and fresh-mowed lawn are absent; here the rye folds beautifully into the malt and complements it nicely.
Lingering elements of coconut and vanilla give it a soothing quality on the back end and make for a versatile experience that is solid in cocktails or (especially) on its own. It’s easily the best whisky in the M&M lineup to date. Too bad it won’t be a permanent one.
A- / $80 (700ml) / methodandmadnesswhiskey.com