Whisky Focus - Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey

Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength

22nd September 2011
Redbreast adds first cask strength expression to its reputed range.

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard is adding to its collection of Single Pot Still Whiskeys of Midleton this weekend at Whisky Live Paris, with the launch of Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength – the portfolio’s first permanent cask strength bottling. This latest addition to the Redbreast range forms part of the company’s ongoing commitment to promote the provenance and quality of this unique Irish whiskey style.

Produced at Midleton Distillery, Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength is Redbreast in its natural full-flavoured state – straight from the cask, non-chill filtered and without the addition of water. Bottled at 57.7% ABV, this first batch will be available from September 2011 in Ireland, France and Germany and in the US from February next year. There are no current plans to launch Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength in the UK but I am sure it will find its way to some of the whisky specialist shops in the UK.

Brendan Buckley, Global Category Development Director for Irish whiskey at Irish Distillers, said: "Over the years, we’ve had great encouragement from whiskey enthusiasts and fans of the renowned Redbreast range to launch a cask strength expression, and we’re delighted to be finally releasing this incredible single pot still whiskey in response. It comes during what has been an exciting year for the range, having recently undergone a packaging revamp to freshen it up and reinforce its quality cues. We are confident that this latest development will be enthusiastically received by Redbreast fans around the world."

Barry Crockett, Master Distiller at Midleton Distillery, added: "This is a very special single pot still whiskey, full of dried fruit flavours, with an exceedingly long finish. It is the perfect addition to the Redbreast range – representing the expression in its purest state. I’m confident that this will become the whiskey that all whiskey lovers will want to own and savour – myself included!."

Redbreast represents a style of whiskey that is unique to Ireland in general and to Midleton Distillery in particular. Single pot still whiskey is made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley, which is then distilled in traditional copper pot stills. Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength, and all single pot still whiskeys from Midleton, is triple distilled.

Redbreast Cask Strength Tasting Notes

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Lovely rich sherried notes, the fruit just hits you, red apples, raisins, coconut ice, sweet vanilla fudge. Some fresh oak spice.

Taste: Full bodied, layers of rich fruit and spice, oatcake biscuits, dark chocolate, delicious sweet vanilla and dry oak.

Finish: A long finish. Slowly drying oak, fading fruit and spice and a touch of vanilla fudge hanging around right to the end.

Comment: Wonderful sherry and spices, you just want to pour yourself another. The balance of rich fruit, spice and oak is perfect. Interestingly adding a drop of water doesn't turn it into a standard Redbreast 12 (I tried), it keeps its big rich sherried fruit, spice and vanilla character, I guess this is to do with the number of casks in the batch being much smaller than the number going into a standard Redbreast 12.

An absolute cracker, loved it!!!

SMW Score 96/100

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