Aged Spirits  

Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

"If it's not good enough to drink slowly, then it's not worth drinking"

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. (88 p)

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. (90 p)

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!) (92 p)

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.

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