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Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength

And Your Bird Can Sing

4 1792

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

16th Oct 2017

0

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    24
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    92

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The following is a preview of a blog post I will be publishing on Wednesday

Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey has a reputation for being rich, oily and spicy. As far as I know, Redbreast is the best selling Single Pot Still in the world. Yet Irish whiskey doesn't get the adulation single malt scotch does. If your only experience with Irish whiskey is doing shots of Jameson on St. Patrick's Day the way Wayne, Squirrely Dan and Daryl shoot Gus N Bru on Letterkenny, you need to try some Single Pot Still. Bonus points if it's Cask Strength.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose (undiluted): surprisingly little alcohol burn, sweet fruits (apricots, figs), rich, sweet toffee, cinnamon buns
  • Palate (undiluted): rich arrival, very full-bodied, mouth-coating, more toffee, oranges, ginger, fresh dates, figs, a slight citrus note
  • Finish: Woah ! There's that Cask Strength alcohol burn. But the burn subsides fairly quickly and leaves rich brown sugar, buttered toast (malt biscuits?), and a nice oakiness. The sweetness lingers on quite a while.

Adding water really opens up this whiskey. It's still powerful (I dilute it to about 50%-52% ABV) yet the flavours become clearer. Freshly baked cinnamon buns with toffee come to mind. Or maybe it's caramel. I feel like there's a bit of a salty/briny note, but I'm not sure if it's there or if I'm imagining it. More orange and ginger. Rich, sweet dates on the finish remind us that this was aged entirely in first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks (if my Google-gleaned information is correct). This is simply terrific.

I find it impossible to say anything bad about this whiskey. Every time I have a tipple of it, I'm elated yet sad. The elation obviously stems from the glory of the whiskey, but the sadness stems from the stark and sudden realization that this bottle is a smidge less full than it formerly was. Nevertheless, I recommend this if you like rich, full flavours.

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17 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

This is indeed a beautiful whisky. Great review.

I agree that this one does very well with a generous (relative to my usual) addition of water. It brings out fantastic flavours.

about one year ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@OdysseusUnbound Did you ever have the 12 and the 12 CS into a H2H, or simply for the fun, one after the other. I did that a few times and as the 12 is always good the 12 CS has been closed, harsh with alcohol or like the 12 with a nice kick. So, except for Cask Strength Fanatic, I would advise most drinker to buy the regular 12. Although, it is true you can add water to your convenience to the CS. The CS is good, but the regular 12 is better IMHO. For those who doesn't know me, I usually prefer CS and I don't add water to them, so it was a big surprise to me when I came to that conclusion.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Robert99 We all perceive things differently. It pained me to add water to this. But I trust @Nozinan and he suggested it. I'm glad I did. I found it terrific at full cask strength, but it needed about 30 minutes to fully open up. But adding water (only enough to bring it down to about 50-52%) made it "just right". The notes were clear, rich and full. I'd like to try a H2H, since the standard RB12 was one of the few whiskeys where the "lowly" 40% ABV didn't bother me.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

Great review, thanks! One that is just about out of the range of what I can justify paying for, sadly, but perhaps one for a future xmas or Bday list?!

Enjoyed the 12 @40% quite a lot. It certainly got drained quicker than the average . . .

I like what you finish with about the sadness and joy. It's worse when a whisky has taken a while to open and I've not been that patient - you realise, as the last pour goes down, that you've had a gem all along and curse your impatience!

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@RianC If you can put a bit of cash aside and save up for this one, it’s worth it. It’s above what I normally like to pay for whisk(e)y, but I don’t regret buying it. It’s wonderful stuff. But the “standard” 12 is fine juice too.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

Love this stuff.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

Also love the Beatles reference.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@talexander Then you will probably like the blog post tomorrow. It’s going to be #TippleTuesday instead of #WhiskeyWednesday because my Wednesday is too busy.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound well then tomorrow, baby you CAN'T drive my car..."

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@OdysseusUnbound, in your long-form blog post, you say this: "Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey differs from Single Malt Scotch mainly in the type of barley used." (Emphasis added.)

Is there any other difference besides the inclusion of unmalted barley? I thought that was the entire deal.

I have a bottle of Redbreast to open with my club in a few months, and I want to know what's what if the subject comes up. Thanks.

about one year ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@MadSingleMalt There's the shape of the stills, which may differ somewhat, also most Irish Whiskeys are triple-distilled whereas most scotches are double-distilled. Also, single pot still never uses column stills (obviously) whereas blended scotch would include some grain whisky made in column stills or Coffee stills.

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@talexander, I hope that that bottle of the standard Redbreast 12 yo which we gave you worked out well.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

Very much so and thank you again! It is always a great whisky. I quite liked the Lustau edition as well, and am waiting until St. Patrick's Day to open the 21 year old I recently purchased.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@talexander Interested. an inverted H2H (21 and 12) might be in order...

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@OdysseusUnbound , thanks for the reply. The other variables you mention (still shape, number of distillations) can occur with scotch single malt too—so it's really just the inclusion of some unmalted barley that defines "Irish pot still," right?

(I'm deliberately leaving out the blended scotch stuff.)

about one year ago 0

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