Midleton Very Rare celebrates 40th anniversary with Ruby Edition

Midleton Very Rare celebrates 40th anniversary with Ruby Edition

The ruby anniversary bottling has been inspired and crafted by Midleton's three master distillers — Barry Crockett, Brian Nation, and Kevin O’Gorman

News | 28 Feb 2024

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Irish Distillers is marking the 40th anniversary of its Midleton Very Rare series with the Very Rare 40th Anniversary Ruby Edition — including the launch of a unique NFT bottle.


The new expression is a blend of single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys, up to 40 years in age, which has been fittingly finished for nine months in a ruby port cask. Tasting notes supplied by Midleton say the whiskey has notes of orchard fruits, sweet vanilla, and soft florals, with the ruby port cask adding richer notes of dark fruit.


The ages of the liquids means the blend spans the tenures of all three Midleton master distillers who have served since the Midleton Very Rare range was introduced: Barry Crockett, who created the first Very Rare expression in 1984; Brian Nation; and incumbent Kevin O'Gorman.


O'Gorman said: “As we celebrate four decades since the inaugural launch of Midleton Very Rare, we are excited to create yet another milestone in Midleton Distillery’s extraordinary history with the launch of Midleton Very Rare 40th Anniversary Ruby Edition. 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.”


The Very Rare 40th Anniversary Ruby Edition is presented in a Waterford crystal decanter that features a four-point crystal, to represent the four decades since the series was created, and is packaged in a ruby case within an FSC-certified wooden cabinet. 


It is bottled at 53.1% ABV and will be available from 28 February in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, Singapore, Persian Gulf, Hong Kong, Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Netherlands, Global Travel Retail, at the Irish Distillers brand homes, and at midletondistillerycollection.com with a recommended price of €20,000 (£17,120).


As an extra anniversary celebration, Irish Distillers has partnered with Keanes Jewellers in Cork to create one bottle of the Midleton Very Rare 40th Anniversary Ruby Edition that will be sold as an NFT (non-fungible token) via Blockbar. The unique bottle features hand-engraved 18-carat gold on the neck and stopper and 32 rubies encrusted within the neck collar, and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Keanes Jewellers. 


The NFT auction will be live on blockbar.com from 12pm GMT on 28 February to 3pm GMT on 7 March, with a reserve of US$60,000 (€55,500 / £47,500). As part of the sale, a donation will be made to the Forest Genetics Resources Trust, which supports the conservation and use of native and naturalised tree species in Irish forestry.


Keane Jewellers' Patrick Keane said: “Rubies signify a 40th anniversary and are considered the gem of passion, something that feels so apt with the passion that shines through from the master distillers and all those involved in the creation of Midleton Very Rare.”

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