Redbreast is one of the most decorated Irish whiskeys, Redbreast is the largest selling Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey in the world. Regarded as the definitive expression of traditional Single Pot Still whiskey, the genesis of Redbreast dates back to 1903 when John Jameson & Son entered into an agreement with the Gilbeys Wines & Spirits Import Company to supply them with new make spirit from their Bow St. Distillery. The custom of that era was that distillers sold bulk whiskey to ‘bonders’ who, being in the business of importing fortified wines such as sherry and port, had ample supplies of empty casks in which to mature new make whiskeys under bond. The 12-year-old expression is made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley and then triple distilled in copper pot stills, Redbreast 12 boasts the flavour complexity and distinctive qualities of Pot Still whiskey. Matured in a combination of Bourbon seasoned American Oak barrels and Oloroso Sherry seasoned Spanish oak butts.
On the nose: you’ll be greeted by notes of raisins, mixed fruits, vanilla, toffee, pineapple, coffee and chocolate. These initial notes are closely followed by spicy notes of cinnamon and star anise, as well as peaches, all butter shortbread and toasted barley. Completing the nose are notes of butterscotch, rose water, elderflower and a twist of lemon zest. On the palate: those notes of currants and mixed fruits are ever-present, followed by notes of vanilla, pineapple, peaches, brown sugar and that rose water. Notes fo all-spice and cinnamon start to appear, alongside notes of orange zest. Rounding-off the palate are notes of toasted barley, shortbread, coffee and a creamy note. The finish: medium, sweet and creamy, with lingering notes of candy apple and light spices.
The verdict: This isn’t the first time I’ve tried Redbreast to be honest its a dram I’ve had quite a bit. It’s a well-rounded whiskey with plenty of depth in flavour that is nicely balanced. With an ABV of 40%, in my opinion, you don’t really need to add any water. However, if you require water then only add a small amount but to experience the plethora of notes on offer, I’d suggest leaving the dram to breathe for approximately 5 – 10 minutes before indulging.
Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey can be found at any well-stocked whisky shop or online for approximately £40, which I might add is great value for money! For more information on this 12-year-old expression, visit the official Redbreast website.