Whisky Focus - Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength Reviewed

Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength Reviewed

3rd October 2011
Redbreast 12 Year Cask Strength

As we announced here last week, Irish Distillers Limited have released there latest addition to there small but happily now growing family of Single Pot Still Irish Whiskeys with the launch of Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength Single Pot Still Whiskey.

For those of you that are not familiar with Redbreast or indeed with this style of whiskey, Redbreast is the largest selling Single Pot Still Irish whiskey in the world and is regarded as the definitive expression of traditional Pot Still whiskey.

Single Pot Still whiskey is unique to Ireland in general and to the Midleton Distillery, County Cork, in particular, where Redbreast is now produced.

Single Pot Still whiskey is regarded as the quintessential style of Irish whiskey. Made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley and then triple distilled in traditional copper pot stills, Pot Still whiskeys are characterised by full, complex flavours and a wonderful, creamy mouthfeel.

So what's special about this latest Single Pot Still Whiskey from the Midleton Distillery? Well this is the first cask strength pot still whiskey to be released by Irish Distillers so this is something new and very original. This is Redbreast 12 year old in its natural, full flavoured state. Straight from the cask, non chill filtered, no water added and bottled at is full bodied cask strength of 57.7% ABV.

This first batch comes from just 68 casks comprising of a combination of first fill sherry butts and first fill bourbon barrels which were hand selected by Master Blender, Billy Leighton.  The proportion of sherry and bourbon casks are the same as what goes into the standard Redbreast 12 year old. This first batch of Redbreast Cask Strength yielded approximately 18,000 bottles or approximately 1,400 9L case equivalents.

The bottle and box carries a batch number and year so I would guess that this would perhaps make this first batch quite collectable in the future and the reason I say that is it is an absolute cracker. So get it while you can!!!

Redbreast 12 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

Other Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey

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