Redbreast Single Pot Still Whiskey
| 9 Aug 2012 |
Redbreast is one of the few remaining Irish whiskies of the "pure pot still" style.
This kind of whisky (or whiskey as the Irish - and the Americans - prefer to spell it)
is distilled in pot stills, just like Scotch single malt whisky, but made predominantly
from unmalted barley.
Redbreast Single Pot Still 15 y.o. (46%):
Very nice nose: fruity with peach and apricot and notes of mint, marzipan and vanilla. Also quite oaky. Rich, powerful
palate. Fruity, oaky and spicy. A bit hot without water but with a drop or two it's smooth and very fruity, develops oak.
Oaky, spicy, warming finish. All in all nice but too oaky. Compared to the old 15 y.o. it's less fruity and more oaky,
more complex but not nearly as nice.
Redbreast Single Pot Still 12 y.o. (57.7%):
Fragrant, very nice nose with marzipan, cream, vanilla and peach. Also a hint of menthol. The palate is fruity
(at first peach, then pear cider). Balanced, clean and fresh. Medium-bodied, neither sweet nor dry.
A little oaky and develops more oak and spices. On the finish the fruitiness fades and is replaced by oak and mint.
Spicy and warming. It has big, bold flavours but it's smooth, balanced and irresistably drinkable.
Redbreast Pure Pot Still 15 y.o. (46%, bottled in 2005):
The nose is a little prickly but has very nice notes of vanilla, peach, oak and marzipan. Very nice palate: intensely fruity with
peach and apricot, also oaky. The finish has amazing, concentrated fruity notes (mostly peach), also oak, then marzipan
and mint at the end. One of the best finishes I've ever experienced. It's a little hot but best without water.
(I bought two bottles of this back in 2006 but I should have bought more!)
When I first tried the new 15 y.o. I was quite disappointed at the drop in quality compared
to the old bottling. Then I tried the new 12 y.o. and to my relief I found a big improvement over
the old 12. However, the old 15 y.o. is still the best bottling I've tried.
Footnote: The "pure pot still" style of whisky is now labelled as "single pot still".
Surprisingly, it seems that the recent regulation change
by the Scotch Whisky Association has influenced Irish whiskey as well.
The Midleton distillery's web page on single pot still whiskey
All my tasting notes on Irish whiskey
A review of single malts from the Czech Republic, England, Germany, India, Sweden and Taiwain.
Six Irish whiskeys
A review of Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Tullamore Dew 12, Redbreast 12, Powers John's Lane and Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy.
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