Master cooper Ger Buckley has the most significant job at Midleton. Named after the croze that he uses to cut the groove for the cask head, these older-aged whiskeys give his rendition a broad back of toasted oak, vanilla pods, and cracker bread, with dark sultanas from the oloroso sherry casks. This has a richer, warm, glossier mouthfeel, showing toffee, vanilla, lump charcoal, and black fruits. A shadow of bitter oak creeps in toward the dying moments. (JM, Winter 2016)
This new blended Irish whiskey is intended to showcase flavors imparted by the barrel. (A cooper makes barrels; a croze is a tool used to cut grooves in the barrel.) Look for a bright, fresh scent layered with fresh pear and sweet vanilla, which is echoed on the palate. Adding water coaxes out more vanilla, crème brûlée and baking spice. A real sipper, this whiskey warms all the way down. (KN)
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