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Nude designs for Midleton Very Rare 2017

Nude Brand Creation has unveiled its redesign of Midleton Very Rare Vintage 2017, the 34th edition of the exclusive whiskey.

The branding and packaging design agency developed a set of luxury codes, inspired by Irish literature and craftsmanship, to reflect the precious nature of the liquid.

A limited number of bottles of Midleton Very Rare have been released every year by the Midleton Distillery since 1984, making it highly collectable. Master distiller Brian Nation personally selects a small number of casks to produce the no age statement whiskey, which is matured in American oak barrels.

Bernard Gormley, founding partner at Nude, says: “The elegant new bottle profile draws inspiration from a writer’s ink well, acknowledging Ireland’s history of producing world class literature and linking to the craftmanship which goes into distilling the liquid. The distinctive dip in the shoulder embodies a pen nib and the gentle flow of whiskey when poured.”

Original works of Irish literature influence the front labels, from the layout of the copy to the tactile uncoated paper stock. The Midleton Very Rare monogram takes centre stage on the neck, linking to the brand’s family heritage. Monograms were a distinctive method of early branding in Ireland and today are synonymous with luxury. The limited availability of Midleton Very Rare is illustrated by the central focus of the bottling year and the original product line: ‘Aged to Perfection’.

Each bottle is individually numbered and bears the signature of the Master Distiller. The reverse of the label features the signature of the original blend creator Barry Crockett.

The new packaging is the first to feature Midleton’s new branding, at the centre of which is a dense flower orchid, commonly found in County Cork, said to represent the delicate touch of the master distiller. The icon is painted in the duck egg blue traditionally used to signify the first filling of a cask in the distillery.

The outer is crafted from untreated, solid wood, while the longstanding use of copper pot distillation inspired the copper detailing. Inside, a Midleton Very Rare pattern applied to linen narrates the whiskey making process, while a recessed pocket houses a certificate of authenticity. The outer box, black band and certificate, all feature soft curved edges, linking to the bottle profile.

Mike Parsonson, partner at Nude Brand Creation, says: “We created a unique set of luxury codes which are derived from Ireland, by researching the history of the brand, as well as Irish craft and literature.

“The notion of luxury has changed in the last few years. Previously luxury packaging meant lots of gold, over-embossing and dark, rich colours. The new luxury is inspired by craft and honesty. The end result evokes understated luxury through subtle discoverable details and careful consideration of every material and mechanism.”

Sinéad Gilbert of Midleton, says: “The 2017 edition marks a redesign for the brand, with Nude Brand Creation infusing the packaging design with ownable luxury that completes the Midleton Very Rare experience and better reflects the quality and rarity of the whiskey inside, highly regarded as the pinnacle in Irish whiskey.”

21 November 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor