When I watch or listen to the news I am only interested in the news from Ireland. In particular, news from Co. Cork and news of the next Midleton Very Rare.

Wise man that he was, the writer J.B. Priestley knew that “Man, the creature who knows he must die, who has dreams larger than his destiny, which is forever working a confidence trick on him, needs an ally”.

His was tobacco. Mine happens to be Irish whiskey.

Confront the Irish malt whiskey lover with Nature and he must commune with it. With a short in his hand, a decanter by his side, a Gil in his bloodstream, and a couple of miniatures in his pocket, the whiskey devotee feels that he has life taped; he feels envied and enviable; sane in a mad world.

Just as Barry Nation did for the outgoing Master Distiller Emeritus Barry Crockett, who made the first Midleton Rare in 1984, so new master distiller Kevin O’Gorman has done for Nation after he left Irish Distillers after 23 years to work at the US start-up O’Shaughnessy Distillery in Minneapolis. Honored his illustrious predecessor by handpicking the finest and rarest whiskeys available and blending them to create a new Midleton Very Rare.

Midleton Rares are single pot still and single grain whiskeys aged from 13 to 36 years in lightly charred ex-bourbon American oak barrels. The Very Rare series is now in its 38th edition.

The limited-edition Very Rare 2021, the first to be created by O’Gorman, has just been unveiled. Bottled at 40% ABV, it’s available online and in Ireland now and will be shortly released in the UK, US, Australia, Germany, France, and Canada. RRP E180 ( approx. £155/$215)

Comments O’Gorman: “It is a great honor to become the custodian of this extraordinary Irish whiskey family and have my signature adorn tour 2012 vintage.”

Elevating the grain whiskey contribution and using a mix of first and econd fill casks, he has produced “ a whiskey of great finesse, with a floral, perfumed character.

“For me, this vintage adds a new dimension and elegance to the style and quality for which the range is renowned.

“The journey to launching Midleton Very Rare 2021 began almost 40 years ago. Continuing the work of my predecessors was both a daunting and extremely enjoyable process that allowed me to explore some of our rarest casks and create an exceptional blend.”

The news of a new Midleton Very Rare will please every Irish whiskey enthusiast. The world suddenly begins to twinkle and hums about him or her again. Life becomes miraculous and everything everlastingly picturesque. Great whiskies can have that effect. Especially ones from Co. Cork.