Whisky Focus - Redbreast 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch 1 Birdhouse Member Exclusive

Redbreast 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch 1

11th March 2021
30 Years after Irish Distiller's resurrected Redbreast pot still whiskey they have taken a step back in time with the release of the Redbreast 10 Year Old which hasn't been bottled since the early 1970's.

Gilbey's Redbreast 10 Year Old 1971 and Redbreast 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch 1 2021

Fans of Irish Distillers Redbreast single pot still whiskey will be intrigued and I am sure pleased to hear that the Irish whiskey maker has taken a step back in time with the launch of a Redbreast 10 Year Old Cask Strength expression today.

Some of the more mature drinkers amongst you may recall the Redbreast 10 Year Old expression which was last seen in the early 1970's, it was was produced by Gilbey's, a Dublin spirits merchant using distillate sourced from Jameson's Bow Street Distillery.

The reason the Gilbey's Redbreast 10 Year Old disappeared was because in 1971, Irish Distillers closed all its Dublin distilleries including Bow Street and consolidated production at the new Midleton Distillery, a large purpose-built facility in County Cork. As a result, production of Redbreast whiskey moved from Dublin to Cork and the range of available expressions was reduced.

In 1985, Gilbey's ceased production of Redbreast then the following year they agreed to sell the brand to Irish Distillers. The Redbreast whiskey brand was subsequently relaunched in 1991 with the release of the 12 year old after several years of absence from the market. This was followed by the Redbreast 15 year old, 21 year old, a new 12 year Cask Strength limited batch release expression and more recently the no age statement sherry finished Lustau expression.

Redbreast 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch 1 Birdhouse Member ExclusiveSo around 50 years on since whiskey drinkers last saw the Redbreast 10 Year Old whisky fans have the chance to taste it once again. A combination of three distillates, spanning 10 to 15 years in age, matured in both American oak ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso sherry seasoned butts from Spain.

The obvious major difference between the old 10 year old expression and the new batch release 10 year old is its bottling strength, I am pleased to say the folks at Irish Distiller's have chosen to bottle the reimagined expression at what has got to be a more flavoursome cask strength of 59.1% ABV and if the outstanding Redbreast 12 year old Cask Strength batch release is anything to go by the new Redbreast 10 year old Cask Strength should be something special, (disclaimer) although don't quote me on that as I have yet had a chance to taste it.

The distillery describe the new 2021 Redbreast 10 Year Old as a truly special offering that contains rare, more traditional style of single pot still distillate which is usually reserved for older age-statement whiskeys in the Redbreast range which pays tribute to the historic expression last produced in the 1970s. A significant contribution from the sherry butts references the prominent use of fortified wine casks in whiskey bonding throughout Ireland in the 1960s.

On the launch of Redbreast 10 Year Old, Master Blender, Billy Leighton comments: "This release rejoices the longstanding history of Redbreast Irish Whiskey and celebrates the distinctive qualities which Redbreast is known for globally. Redbreast 10-Year-Old offers a unique, rich flavour profile with notes of tropical and dried fruit, which gives way to a balance of richness from the inclusion of sherry casks. I am delighted to share this release with whiskey advocates and Redbreast fans across the globe."

Redbreast 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch 1 will retail at €100, to my knowledge it will be available exclusively via The Birdhouse, Redbreast’s online membership platform from today and is limited to two bottles per person.

You will also find the outstanding Redbreast whiskey range available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

Redbreast 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch 1 Review

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Intense aromatics of honeycomb and cedarwood with earthy notes, dried tobacco leaf and worn leather. Dark fruits linger in the background and slowly develop overtime along with toasted almonds and demerara sugar, while a pot still spice intensity continues to build, adding to the complexity of flavours layered over a strong foundation of oak.

Taste: Rich in tannins that work in tandem with the inclusion of traditional pot still distillate creating balance between oak and spirit. The Oloroso wine casks emerge to contribute marzipan and fig along with subtle hints of mixed berry compote, while delicate touches of vanilla and treacle are found lingering in the background.

Finish: The pot still spices rise to a crescendo and then finally give way to the toasted oak and delicate sweetness that lingers until the very end.

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