"This is a true unicorn whiskey," says Brian Nation, head distiller at Irish Distillers, which produces Midleton Very Rare. "It was part of a series of innovation trials, never to be released or repeated."
Over 45 years of maturation, the whiskey has lost 87% of its volume, making the cask's cargo all the more precious.
As master of ceremonies, he stands as 25-milliliter glasses of the amber-hued elixir are distributed around the two tables of eagerly waiting diners. Then, with a flourish, a switch is flicked so the glasses are lit from below and the whiskey gleams.
We grasp the stems and breathe deeply, absorbing a world of rich dark spices and antique oak.
"There's a lovely earthy note of freshly cut peat and I think of leather," explains Nation, guiding us on our séance with this most rare of spirits.
"And that's given a twist by some citrus notes, particularly by what I would describe as grapefruit. The contribution of the sherry wine-seasoned cask is giving you some hints of ripe honeydew melon, but particularly red berries as well."
Our noses filled, it's time to part our lips.