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What better way to finish off an Irish tasting than with a pot still whiskey (one of my favourite styles), and a cask strength one at that? I believe this is the second batch of Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength that Midleton has released.
The colour is a light gold - lighter than I would have expected. Fairly shy on the nose, I get freshly sawn lumber, apples, vanilla and cinnamon. Slightly vegetal, with cucumber and spinach greens. A very light metallic quality. Water brings out some malt, but not much else. Definitely needs more time in the glass (the bottle was opened yesterday, as were the Bushmills and Powers I just reviewed).
Behind the alcohol heat, the palate features red apple skins, lime pith, lightly toasted oak, pepper and linseed oil. Where the nose was shy, the palate is quite powerful, especially with water. You can definitely tell that it is pot still whiskey like this that forms the background to the Powers Gold I just tasted.
The extremely long finish features much more oak, with leather and tobacco. While the nose may be a touch lacking in power, all elements of this fantastic whiskey feature great complexity. Although I may be finishing off this review now (as I'm starving and have to eat), I'm leaving this in my glass for a good long while. Jim Murray scores this a 97 - the slightly quiet nose prevents me from going that high, but still - this is truly a great experience. I may be a day late with most of my Irish reviews, but this was one worth waiting for.