Irish Distillers, maker of some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has unveiled a bold look for the first aged distillate to launch from the company’s innovation hub in Midleton, Co. Cork.
The bottle and label for METHOD AND MADNESS Rye and Malt – a unique distillate in the pantheon of Irish whiskey making, which breaks with tradition to feature a unique 60/40 blend of rye and malt – has been designed by M&E Design Studio, based in Malmö, Copenhagen.
Headed by Irish born Matthew Bolger and Emelie Lidström, from Sweden, M&E’s brief was to give the new Rye and Malt a distinctive look as the first experimental distillate-driven whiskey to be released under the METHOD AND MADNESS banner.
Bolger and Lidström, who created the eye-catching octagonal bottle and straight lines and marble labelling that have become a familiar feature for fans of METHOD AND MADNESS’s award-winning, unique range of whiskeys and gin since the brand’s launch, focused on the defining and special attributes of the latest release to create a colour palette which evokes fields of rye in the sunlight, explains Lidström.
“Since the brand’s inception, our aim has been to create a standout visual identity effect for each and every release from the METHOD AND MADNESS range, and we are especially pleased with the effects and imagery conjured by the strong mix of greens, yellows and gold for its new Rye and Malt edition, especially as it is the first aged distillate to be released from the Micro Distillery which defines a landmark moment for the distilling team.”
The METHOD AND MADNESS journey first began six years ago when the Micro Distillery – housed on the site of Midleton Distillery from which Irish Distillers creates a portfolio of global whiskey brands, including Jameson, Redbreast and Midleton Very Rare – opened its doors with a mission to further support the resurgence of Irish whiskey.
“Drawing on research into wood influences and cereal mixes, historic mash bills from the Irish Distillers Archive and the restless curiosity of its craftspeople, we have been driven by a desire to create whiskeys that pay heed to tradition while searching for the new and extraordinary,” explains distiller Katherine Condon. “And our designers, Matthew and Emilie have been a key part of that journey.”
M&E’s first commission was to create a bottle and labels for four new METHOD AND MADNESS Irish whiskeys, each with its own twist; a Single Grain Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Spanish Oak; a Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in French Chestnut; a Single Malt Irish Whiskey enhanced with French Limousin Oak; and a 31 Year Old Single Cask, Single Grain Limited Edition bottled at cask strength.
Their solution was a design that brought to life the juxtaposition between the words method and madness, using two opposing patterns throughout all the labelling and packaging. The use of straight lines symbolises method and order, while the marbled patterns reference madness and liquid experimentation.
“Although the bottle design takes cues from laboratory glassware found in the Micro Distillery and the paneling of a whiskey cask, we also took inspiration from outside of distilling and Ireland, wanting a departure from traditional whiskey branding and design,” explains Lidström. “The octagonal shape of the bottle was designed to refract and bounce light, whilst the side panel embossings were created to produce a kaleidoscope of patterns within the bottle, bringing method and madness together. Inspired by the Masters and Apprentices working side by side at the new Micro Distillery, the brand identity we have created strives to convey the sense of excitement that is created when tradition and innovation combine.”
Bottled at 46% ABV, the limited-edition METHOD AND MADNESS Rye and Malt Irish Whiskey will be available from September 20th in Ireland, the UK, Dublin Airport and online at the RRP of €95.
Nose: Lemon Balm, Floral Lavender, Clove Spice
Taste: White Pepper, Chilli Flakes, Toasted Wood
Finish: Fading Fruits, Lingering Spice, Cereal Malt & Barley