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Nearly two years into my single-malt journey, and you'd think I'd have ventured into the homeland of my mother (the Kelly side of the family) by now. Outside of the occasional taste of a Bushmills or Jameson, this is my first close encounter with an Irish whisky, and I now regret waiting so long.
Redbreast 12 yo is rich, layered, and flavorful, as well as one of the easiest-drinking whiskies I've tried. The old Irish proverb I chose for the title of this review may have been coined by a Redbreast drinker.
Nose: All that's sweet, creamy, and syrupy. Honey, caramel, vanilla, marshmallows, nougat, brown sugar...you name it, it's here. Yet there's also wonderful balance with some sour and bitter notes that add a deep richness and keep things from being too sticky-sweet. Marvelous.
Palate: Something to please every taste bud. Exactly what the nose led me to believe. Some hints of bourbon without the peppery bitterness. A touch of nuttiness (almonds?), a pinch of salt, and a dry finish keep the sweetness in check. As balanced as a ballet dancer on a tightrope.
As a half-Irishman, I've always worn the green proudly. And now I'll be drinkin' the Red(breast) heartily!