Happy St. Patrick's Day! Our third and final whiskey is the oldest expression of Redbreast single pot still available, at 21 years old, matured in a combination of sherry casks and bourbon barrels (though I think there is more sherried whiskey in here than the usual Redbreast). Non-chill-filtered, of course. If you are keeping track of these things, the bottle code is L324531256.
The colour is a soft caramel. It's a basket of berries on the nose, with coconut pulp, papaya and extremely overripe banana (at the point when you gotta throw it out). Faint hint of cloves. Subtle oak notes. Both brazil and macadamia nuts. Toffee and vanilla sit in the background, letting the brazen fruit-and-nut party take over. Water brings out sea breeze and a touch of wood smoke. I could nose this forever, it is everything you could want in this wonderful style.
Oily and spicy on the palate, with another mixture of tropical and berry fruits, with a few slices of honey crisp apple. Black cherry. Those nuts again, but salted this time. Surprisingly malty. So mouth-watering. Soft raisin. A bit more caramel than we saw on the nose. Spicier with water, and a bit maltier too - and more cherries, I think? There is so much going on here, I can't...even.
The extremely long finish develops from fruit to warm baking spices, sesame oil and big oak (which finally showed up!) If you know me, you know I love single pot still and this is perhaps the greatest I have tasted. Just spicy enough, with big sherry notes and that nuttiness that you can only find in this style. Jim Murray ranked this the #2 whiskey in the world - I don't know about that but this is definitely one of the absolute greats.
Thanks for this review. I’ve looked at this one longingly at the KGBO, but I can’t justify the price point.....yet.