Midleton Very Rare has received strong reviews and several awards.
As the name suggests, the whiskey is produced in limited quantities. Only 50 casks are released each year, it is therefore both expensive and collectible. Each bottle is individually numbered and signed by the master distiller. The whiskeys used in the blend are handpicked by the Master distiller, all are triple distilled and have aged between 12 and 25 years in individually selected Bourbon or Sherry casks. Because a new vintage is created each year, each differs slightly and has its own character. It is distilled at the same location as the more affordable Jameson whiskey.
Midleton Very Rare was launched in 1984 to celebrate the whiskeys produced in Midleton.
In September 2014, to commemorate the 30th or Pearl anniversary of Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey, Midleton Distillery invited their Master Distiller Emeritus Barry Crockett out of retirement to join his successor and current Master Distiller Brian Nation in producing a special anniversary expression of just 117 bottles of Midleton Very Rare 30th Anniversary Pearl Edition.
Midleton Very Rare has received strong reviews from a number of sources. It was awarded a Double Gold rating (meaning unanimous gold medal from all judges) at the 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition after having won only Gold in 2005. It was a finalist in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2011, where it earned a rating of 'Extraordinary - Ultimate Recommendation'. The prior year, the 2008 vintage was awarded the Chairman's Trophy (top prize for its class) in this same contest. It was also a finalist in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2011. It currently holds a rating of 93 on 'For Peat' Sake'.