Midleton – Very Rare Irish Whiskey 2011 – 98/100

Price – 750 ml – $135.99 reg $113.99 Sale – (www.shoppersvineyard.com)

Method – 2 ice cubes – 3 fingers of alcohol in 8 oz. rocks glass

Rating – 98-100 – standard rating scale for wine and spirits

Review –


First off let me say that I owe this bottle of glory to my lovely girlfriend who bought it for me as a Christmas present.  It was a great present and not just because it was expensive.Also, this was the winner in my poll to see what the readers (however few you may be 😉 ) wanted to get a review of next.I’ll start as I usually do with the packaging.  The blond, wood-grain box that the bottle comes in is well made and is a great match to the fresh color and taste of this whiskey.  It comes with a personal registration card that you can send back to the distillery to let them know who purchased each numbered bottle.   It’s a corked bottle that has the same color cork stopper as the wood of the box and a beautiful gold and parchment label that really dresses up this traditional Irish whiskey bottle rather nicely.On the nose, you get something that not a lot of Irish whiskeys will give you, honey.  But its not the cloying honey that plagues some bourbons, its the fresh-light honey scent that really brightens up both the nose and the taste.  The spice that you would expect from a Midleton whiskey is there, reminiscent of the Redbreast (click to read my review of Redbreast 12), but it is much more mellow and has a very clean feel on the nose.The palate makes this whiskey go off the deep-end of amazing.  It spreads the flavors through your mouth immediately, and if allowed to rest on the tongue for a few long moments, the finish pays dividends of bright allspice and light alcohol flavors.  Very light oily mouthfeel with makes this whiskey feel even more luxurious than the Redbreast, I reviewed before from the same distillery.  The finish feels like it never ends, or stops developing, going from sweet honey and almost floral flavors, to rich oak and piney flavors, and into a mellow spiciness that never overwhelms the palate.  From beginning to end this whiskey is an absol
ute joy, and easily my favorite bottle on my shelf.  Unfortunately, because of the price, I save it for special occasions.  This whiskey opens up beautifully, and a teaspoon of water is necessary to really enjoy the flavors this dram has to offer.    I cannot give this enough praise or recommendation, if you like whiskey, and you have the opportunity you simply MUST try it.

Overall, I gave it a 98/100, I’m not sure if this could be much better, but I feel like any higher than a 98 might be pushing too hard.


8 responses to “Midleton – Very Rare Irish Whiskey 2011 – 98/100

  • G-LO

    Great review Chuck! I haven’t had the Midleton in a really long time, but I remember liking it immensely. Limpd had a bottle of the stuff in his collection a couple years ago, and I vaguely remember that it fell vicim to his Pappy’s fondness for the Irish Water of Life. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

  • limpd

    Chuck, you are spot on with your review! This is the best that Ireland has to offer and is the pinnacle of the great triumvirate with Jameson and Red Breast. Sadly, I lost my bottle when Pappy came to dogsit. He claims the bottle was nearly empty but I recall otherwise.

  • Chuck

    Thanks a bunch limpd. I was hoping to see more of the booze dancing crew over here eventually as I am a pretty big fan of you guys overall. And I tend to agree about Midleton being a cut above the jameson/red breast family, but I haven’t tried the RB 15 year yet. I’m definitely a fan of everything I’ve tried out of those distilleries. If i were pappy, I think I’d likely have told the same story, if this thing was nearer to the $75 dollar mark, I think I’d buy a bottle on the regular, but for now, looks like it only comes out for special occasions. Thanks again for the comment!



  • Greenore – Single Grain – 8 years old – Single Grain – 90/100 « Whiskey World Tour

    […] lot of other Irish I have tried recently (respectfully not referring to Redbreast, Jameson Gold, or Midleton’s) is that the finish is really long.  Again its all clean corn and light woods, almost piney, and […]

  • Tim Holmes

    You should NOT be putting ice cubes in this stuff. A tablespoon or two of cold water is all you need. You pretty much ruin it with ice cubes.

  • phil

    Believe it or not my wife had midleton very rare, for the 1st time and loved it. I’m looking for a recommendation for something close to the wonderful taste midleton, with a cheaper price point.

    • Chuck

      In the same vein, but at a cheaper price point:

      Jameson gold
      Red breast 12
      Greenore 8
      Tullamore dew 12
      Also in a scotch
      Glenmorangie nectar d’or.

      Many of these have reviews throughout the big and i recommend them fully. Enjoy.


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