Despite being a huge Irish whiskey fan, I have published a surprisingly small number of reviews from this highly underrated category. To make up for it, I’ve decided to review Irish whiskey more often starting with a heavy hitter from Redbreast that has made huge waves since it was first released a few years ago.
Midleton distillery is the “man behind the curtain” for many popular Irish whiskey brands including Jameson, Powers, and the Spot Series. Redbreast in particular has been highly regarded by enthusiasts and casual consumers alike. Personally speaking, their 12 year old cask strength expression is one of my favorite whiskies at its price point regardless of style. Irish whiskey has made a big push into the US market in recent years. Midleton brands like the Spot Series and Powers have seen big growth in this market alongside other non-Midleton brands like Teeling, Knappogue Castle, and The Sexton. US consumers are finally starting to come around to the fact that Irish whiskey can be much more than Jameson shots and Irish Car Bombs. Today’s review proves that Irish whiskey doesn’t have to just stop at “good.” It can be truly fantastic.
In 2019, Redbreast released the first edition of their 27 year old expression. This single pot still Irish whiskey is aged in a combination of bourbon casks, sherry casks, and ruby port casks and is one of the oldest Irish whiskey expressions on the market these days. Batch B1/19 is bottled at 54.6% ABV.
|Nose||Barley-rich pot still character, cherry cheesecake, orange zest, ripe mango, lightly ripe banana, clove, fresh coconut, honey, lychee, apples, red grape must. With water, you can smell the juiciness of the lychee and mango shining through.|
|Taste||Intense fruits, creamy vanilla, dried cranberry, grapefruit cordial, vanilla ice cream, big tannic oak, raspberry compote, Haribo gummy bears, chocolate covered cherry, toasted almond, raisins, dried mango. With water, some minty/herbal notes add a new dimension along with dried apricot and walnut.|
|Finish||Apple pie filling, dried pineapple, mixed roasted nuts, ripe peaches, candy sweetness, more creamy vanilla, hints of tea leaves, candied ginger, lemon peel, some grassiness. Water intensifies the baked orchard fruit notes as well as some leafier notes, grilled peaches, just a hint of menthol, and baking spice.|
|Overall Thoughts||This whisky was a bit closed off on the nose at first but opened up a ton after several minutes. With my expectations tempered from the initial nose, my first sip stopped me dead in my tracks as waves of fruit and candy sweetness attacked my senses from all angles. This whiskey has the most tropical fruit influence I’ve experienced in a long time and I loved it. This is an Irish Whiskey I’ll remember for a long time.|