The €45k bottle of whiskey: It must taste great, right?

The distillery has produced 100 bottles of this powerful, rich whiskey for collectors

Kevin O’Gorman, master distiller at Midleton, unveils the nearly 50-old-whiskey up for sale this week

As a writer on things liquid, I have had the privilege of tasting many expensive wines and spirits. But only on a very few occasions have I tasted anything selling for €45,000 a bottle.

The whiskey in question is definitely a collector's item; Chapter Three of the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection. "It started life in 1973 as two barrels of newly distilled whiskey," Kevin O'Gorman, master distiller at Midleton tells me. "One refill bourbon and one sherry cask. We then brought the two together giving us a total of 97 bottles." The bottle is produced by Waterford Crystal and comes in an individually numbered burr elm cabinet designed by craftsman John Galvin. The Silent Distillery name signifies that it comes from a distillery no longer in use, in this case the Old Midleton Distillery, and therefore a unique expression of times past.

There will be six Chapters of Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery in total, with the final release coinciding with the 200th anniversary in 2025 of the old Midleton Distillery which ran from 1825 to 1975. I suspect there are investors lining up to own an entire collection.

Rich taste

Silent Distillery Chapter Three will be available to purchase via a ballot on the Midleton Very Rare 1825 room (see, which goes live on May 3rd and closes on May 10th. It will also be available in Brown Thomas in Dublin and select specialist shops worldwide. Adare Manor, which hosted the launch, intend on holding an event on November 29th, where guests will be offered a few drops. Email for details.


So, what does a €45,000 bottle of whiskey taste? Very nice as it turns out. I had a minute taste; it is powerful (bottled at a cask-strength 55 per cent abv) and rich with complex dark fruits, tobacco, leather, subtle spice and toasted hazelnuts. The finish lasted for minutes. Sadly I wasn’t given a bottle to take home with me.

John Wilson

John Wilson

John Wilson, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a wine critic