Produced under its Midleton Very Rare label, the Silent Distillery Collection will comprise six releases from the fabled Old Midleton Distillery which operated from 1825 to 1975. One will be released each year until 2025, which would have been the distillery's 200th anniversary.
The first release, named Chapter One, is a 45-year-old Irish single malt laid down in 1974 under master distiller emeritus Max Crockett. It was produced as part of a series experimenting with peated single malt whiskey – innovative at the time in Ireland and still rare in the country today – which was cut short by the distillery's closure the following year.
Midleton says the third-fill sherry cask in which the whiskey has aged contributes notes of honeydew melon, red berries and sweet toasted oak spices. The expression will be decanted into handblown and etched crystal bottles, produced by Ireland's Waterford Crystal, and will be displayed in cabinets made using reclaimed wood from whiskey vats.
Barry Crockett, Max Crockett's son and now master distiller emeritus, said: “It’s remarkable that 45 years on we could even be speaking about a whiskey which was distilled in the very final period of the Old Midleton Distillery. It is the ultimate heirloom and memento of the dedication to precise malt preparation, brewing and distillation skills of generations of distillers at Midleton."