NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Honoring the distinctive characteristics of Irish Oak, Irish Distillers has unveiled Midleton® Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Edition, the next chapter in its Virgin Irish Oak Collection of Single Pot Still Irish Whiskeys. This exceptional offering has been matured primarily in American oak Bourbon casks and finished in barrels made from Irish oak grown in the Bluebell Forest of Castle Blunden Estate in County Kilkenny, imparting a true and unique flavor of Ireland.
"Expanding our portfolio in the U.S. is always an exciting moment for our Irish Whiskey portfolio," said Sona Bajaria, Vice President, High End Irish Whiskey, Pernod Ricard USA. "The inclusion of Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Edition to our range is a testament to the passion of our deep-rooted heritage, innovation and commitment to taste."
Dair Ghaelach, which is Gaelic for 'Irish oak', is the result of an eight-year exploration by the expert production team at the Midleton Distillery, County Cork, into using native oak to finish Irish whiskey and follows the release of Midleton Dair Ghaelach Grinsell's Wood in February 2015.
In collaboration with expert forestry consultant, Paddy Purser, the Irish Distillers team of Kevin O'Gorman, Head of Maturation, and Billy Leighton, Head Blender, chose Bluebell Forest on Castle Blunden Estate to provide the oak for the second edition in the Midleton Dair Ghaelach series. Each bottle can be traced back to one of six individual 130-year-old oak trees that were carefully felled in the Bluebell Forest in May of 2013.
"It is a joy to be able to showcase more of our experimentation with maturation in Irish oak through the release of Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest," said Kevin O'Gorman, Head of Maturation at Midleton Distillery. "The naturally sweet compounds found in Irish oak work in perfect harmony with this whiskey to deliver milk chocolate and honeycomb on the nose, a beautifully round and silky-smooth mouth feel and a long, pot still finish."
Bluebell Forest is found among the historic stone walls of Castle Blunden Estate in County Kilkenny. Since the 1600s, generations of the Blunden Family have watched over a stand of Irish oak trees with a carpet of luminescent bluebells covering the forest floor. The carefully felled oak from these woods imparts its character and nuances into Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest to create an intrinsically Irish whiskey with historical provenance, traceability and a clear link to the sustainability and rejuvenation of Irish oak.
Artisans at the Maderbar sawmills in Baralla, north-west Spain used the quarter-sawing process to cut the trees into staves to craft the oak into barrels to be sent to the Antonio Páez Lobato cooperage in Jerez. After drying for 15 months, the staves were worked into 29 Irish oak Hogshead casks and given a toast. The whiskey, made up of a selection of Midleton's classic rich and spicy pot still distillates matured for between 12 and 23 years in American oak barrels, was then filled into the Irish oak Hogshead casks, nosed and tasted each month by Leighton and O'Gorman. After a year and a half, the pair judged that the whiskey had reached the perfect balance between the spicy single pot still Irish whiskey and Irish oak characteristics.
Bottled at cask strength, between 55.30% to 56.30% ABV, and without the use of chill filtration, Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest is available in the U.S. starting November 2017 at the recommended selling price of $299.99.
About Pernod Ricard USA®
Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA, the world's second-largest spirits and wine company. Pernod Ricard employs approximately 18,000 people worldwide, is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI) and is part of the CAC 40 index.
The company's leading spirits and wines include such prestigious brands as Absolut® Vodka, Tequila Avión®, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Malibu®, Kahlúa®, Aberlour Single Malt Scotch, Olmeca Altos™, Beefeater® Gin, Lot No. 40™ and Pike Creek®, Midleton®, Powers®, Redbreast®, Plymouth®, Seagram's® Extra Dry Gin®, Martell® Cognac, Lillet®, Hiram Walker®, Pernod®, Ricard®; and such superior wines as Kenwood Vineyards®, Brancott Estate®, Campo Viejo®, Graffigna® and Jacob's Creek®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier-Jouët® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines.
Pernod Ricard USA is based in New York, New York, and has roughly 850 employees across the country. Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and in moderation. For more information, please visit: www.responsibility.org.
SOURCE Pernod Ricard USA