“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t—” –Hamlet, Act II
Back in the 80s, it certainly would have seemed like madness anyway. Strapped with the challenges of a desperate new sales plan for dusty old stocks of unpopular Irish whiskey, IDL’s Master of Maturation Brendan Monks decided to overhaul those same dingy warehouses with a newly sourced inventory of superiorcasks. It was an enormous investment at a time when Irish whiskey’s future was still frighteningly uncertain. Since that first mad gamble, IDL have nurtured their product into international prominence and steadily grown those re-rooted barrels into one of the finest wood policies in the world of modern drinks. Their methods shape this industry from seasoning to sourcing and if the taste of their results is any indication, their wager on woodwork was never mad at all.
As has always been known to those who know their methods, oak simply just matters. The bending flavour belt around all global whiskey, oak not only forms the bedrock of the drink’s finest profiles but continues to yield some of the most exciting developments in its culinary frontiers. From the honeyed vanillins of American Quercus Alba to the nutmeggy spices of traditional Quercus Robur to the untapped tannins of unexplored forests (including the Irish Oaks that once blanketed this island,) IDL have been right at the vanguard of its modern research. They’ve been sourcing new barrels, planting new forests, and (thanks to a loophole in the rules of Irish whiskey) even playing around madly with other malleable woods.
On Thursday, June 29th, it will be our absolute pleasure to invite Monks' successor Kevin O’Gorman and Midleton Global Brand Ambassador Ger Garland as they join with Mark Tarleton of Purser Tarleton Russell Ltd, Forest Industry Consultancy and Research, to lead us through the features, flavours, and experimental future of their blossoming wood policy as we toast the method and madness of that still maturing marriage of spirit and cask.