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Redbreast 15 Year Old

Decent But Not As Good As The 12

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@MaltActivistReview by @MaltActivist

15th Aug 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I recently reviewed the Redbreast 12 Cask Strength and it was days before I could get it out of my mind. It was so insanely good.

I had a bottle of it's 15 year old older brother lying around as well and so tonight I decided to give it a whirl. Given the fact that I was positively giddy over the 12 Cask Strength you can imagine my anticipation at trying out the 15 year old.

Distilled using the legendary Irish method of employing a mix of malted and un-malted barley and then triple distilling in copper stills. This method produces a unique spirit known as Pure Pot Still Whiskey. And Midleton Distillery, where Redbreast is made, are masters of this craft.

Which is why this whiskey is a bit of a disappointment for me. Not that it's horrendous but when it follows on the trail of the 12 year old Cask Strength it is average at best.

Matured in ex-Bourbon and ex-Oloroso Sherry casks the spirit is bottled at 46%.

Nose: My glass was left covered for over 20 minutes to allow all the aromas to accumulate. The first nose was quite sour. Tamarind water. Light soy sauce. Let it breathe and the grains come through next. Barley. Gets sweeter over time. Warm honey. Toffe. Berries. Dark chocolate. Spicy next with clove and other spices. Almond husk. Oils. Not my favorite nose. The sourness threw me off.

Palate: Feels grainy. Quite sweet and fruity. Hard boiled sweets. Apricots. Peaches. Oily. The berries are back. So is the fennel and the clove. With hints of oak. The flavors are quite unique but they're not really doing it for me for some reason.

Finish: Long. Oily. With a hint of bitter oak.

This is drinkable and some might even say enjoyable. I have no arguments on that. Is it gorgeous like it's 12 year old sibling?


Related Redbreast reviews


Victor commented

@MaltActivist, thanks for your review.

I'd much rather drink both Redbreast 12 Cask Strength and standard Redbreast 12 than Redbreast 15.

For me this is one of those whiskies which features mainly flavours from old re-used wood. Not a preferred profile for me. Others in this category are Jameson 18 and Glenmorangie 18. None of these is undrinkable. They are ok. But I'll likely never buy a bottle of any of these three. I like them less than the younger expressions from those same distilleries, PLUS, these three are much more expensive than those younger more vibrant whiskies from those same distilleries.

5 years ago 0

cherylnifer commented

Ditto all that Victor said. Both the 12yo standard and 12yo cask strength are the shining stars of this family

5 years ago 0

MaltActivist commented

@Victor I seem to have stumbled upon a good batch of the Glenmorangie 18 at a recent tasting prompting me to pick up a couple of bottles. I thought it was quite nice. Not sure if our tastes are different or if there's some major batch variance.

But yes I agree that many a time the younger expressions are much much better - Glenlivet 15 French Oak and the Glenlivet 16 CS much better for me than the 18, 21 and a XXV that I had tried.

Glenfiddich 18 possibly better than the 30 or maybe just as good. Just some of the examples that spring mind.

5 years ago 0

Victor commented

@MaltActivist, yes, there really isn't much telling that you are drinking the same whisky as is someone else unless you are drinking from the same bottle. Someday, hopefully, you and I will do some of that.

5 years ago 0

plattvillepeat commented

Victor, I've been ruminating on your last comment. I find that the reviews and comments on Connosr help to create a kind of virtual bottle from which we can drink and share together. Your magnificent reviews and cogent commentary provide a foretaste of what it must be like to drink from the same bottle with you. Here's to your health and good whisky! Hopefully we can share a dram with big flavor some day!

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

Victor commented

@plattvillepeat, thank you for your very kind words. I enthusiastically look forward to having some drams with you one day!

5 years ago 0

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