Redbreast is one of the many whiskeys produced at New Midleton Distillery. It is a 'Single Pot Still' Irish whiskey, meaning that it is made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley. This 12-year old cask strength version appears to be the first ever release from 2011 (batch B1-11). It was triple distilled and matured in a combination of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks.
The nose is rich and fruity: strawberries and marzipan flavours come first, followed by a good dose of wood spice, vanilla, and buttercream. Quite minty. Then there is a touch of sherry, followed by some grassy notes.
The palate is medium-bodied and a bit spicy. The mint flavours are back, together with notes of oranges, grapefruits, and raisins. Later on there are cinnamon and biscuit flavours, followed by a hint of white pepper.
The finish is long and dry. No news on the flavour side: mint, cinnamon, and grass. Notes of apples and liquorice appear later on and last to the end.
This is an exceptional pot still whiskey, with a very complex nose and an equally complex palate. All these flavours are very well balanced, and despite the high ABV this can be easily drunk at cask strength. In my view adding water does not improve the flavour profile. Sadly, as I am not a big fan of mint flavours in whisk(e)y, this will not become a permanent fixture in my cabinet, but the quality of the spirit is unquestionably superb.
@Pierre_W, it is always wonderful to read your reviews. I do agree with @Nozinan that finding mint in Redbreast 12 Cask Strength seems to me like an outlier experience, and not something I have ever encountered in the 3 or so batches of Redbreast 12 CS from which I have sampled. (I would not want to taste mint in my Irish Whiskey either.) In other words, I would suggest that you sample RB12CS from another batch, and, if you find it minus the mint, which I expect, then you might in future consider owning another bottle of it.