I woke up with a fuzzy head and rather hazy memories of the evening before.
The phone rang beside my hotel bed and I picked it up. It was then that I realised I was fully-dressed with my mascara askew.
It was my chauffeur informing me – very fortunately – that my flight back to London from Dublin had been cancelled due to the wrath unleashed by Storm Doris.
It had been raining tea cakes and doilies – and after clocking on to my dishevelled telephone manner my driver advised me to go back to bed and wait to catch a later lift.
The trigger for my descent was a rather awesome introduction to one of Ireland’s newest whiskys, Method and Madness.
After several years of experimentation at the famed Midlelton distillery in County Cork, Ireland – the home of Jameson – a team of connoisseurs had finally crafted a quartet of alluring elixirs.
Now it was time to unleash these refined liquors to the wider world.
I’d joined around 50 other journalists from America, UK and Europe to get a sneak peak of the new brews before they hit the shelves.
We started the evening at the bar of the funky Marker hotel in the heart of Dublin before being shuttled by bus to the arts centre for a grand unveiling.
Walking into the venue it was a world away from how I imagined a whisky launch.
Instead of an old boy’s club, complete with plaid and puffing cigars, I strutted around a nightclub with strobe lighting and loud music livening my senses.
Slowly the whisky started to trickle in, with wee drams served to us in swirlable glass beakers.
I usually drink my whisky with water so the shots hit hard.
Each variety had a character of its own given their very different finishings. From Virgin Spanish oak to French Chestnut, these tipples have a rounded and balanced taste.
Proving their pulling power further, the Method and Madness varieties were whipped into a range of jazzy cocktails including a rather magnificent pink slushy which gave me a swift sugar rush.
The crème de la crème however was the Method and Madness 31 Year Old Single Cask. I lovingly sipped the rich and syrupy concoction, not to be snaffled at with bottles retailing at £1,300.
Luckily a plethora of food was rolled out to soak up all of this sippable magic. The lamb chops went down a dream.
It was at this point I realised I’d unexpectedly been seduced by Method and Madness. I went in for another lamb chop and from there memories became increasingly cloudy.
We left the party to sample some of Dublin’s finest colouful bars, crammed with Guinness drinkers and ringing with good cheer.
The introduction to Method and Madness however, had left me in a bid of a daze.
‘Reimagined’, ‘trial and error’, ‘inspired spirits’, ‘bottle breakthrough’…. I started having a flashback to the straplines used in a video introducing the whiskys in that dark arts venue-cum-nightclub.
‘Sadie, are you OK?’ Someone asked me. ‘I think I’m going to head back to the hotel,’ I replied.
The next morning the whole launch night felt like it had been a dream.
I had witnessed method and madness, madness and method.
So if you’re up for entering the heady new world of whiskys, where flair and experiment are key, pour yourself a glug of Method and Madness and buckle up for the ride.
The METHOD AND MADNESS Single Grain, Single Pot Still and Single Malt Irish Whiskys will be available in the UK, France and Ireland from this month at the respective RRPs of €49, €69 and €79. The METHOD AND MADNESS 31 Year Old, Single Cask, Single Grain will be available in the same territories from April 2017, priced at €1,500.
Tasting notes from Method and Madness Master Blender, Billy Leighton…
Method and Madness Single Grain Irish Whisky
46%, non-chill filtered, RRP €49
Nose – New pencil shavings, light rose petal and fresh rain on pine
Taste – Warm toasted oak, fresh peeled grapefruit and zesty wood spices
Finish – Sweet cereal, clove spiciness and fresh mint
Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whisky
46%, non-chill filtered, RRP € 69
Nose – Red liquorice laces, fresh rosemary mint and grated root ginger
Taste – Sweet fruit and spice, cinnamon toast and ripe banana
Finish – Aromatic green tea, dissipating fruit and spice and rich wood farewell
Method and Madness Single Malt Irish Whisky
46%, non-chill filtered, RRP €79
Nose – Freshly shelled peanut and cereal malt aroma
Taste – Cracked cinnamon stick and ice cream cone wafer
Finish – Fragrant bon bons and a hint of tasted barley
Method and Madness Single Grain Irish Whisky 31 Year Old
3 single casks at 51.3%, 51.8& and 52.5%, non-chill filtered, RRP €1,500, Availability from April
Nose – Crisp floral, black liquorice and succulent fruit
Taste – Creamy honey, wood spice and honeydew melon
Finish – Endless dark wood, lingering fruit and gentle spices