Redbreast is one of my favourite whiskies, so I'm excited about this new edition. While technically NAS, it is matured for 9-12 years in American and European oak, then finished for up to a year in oloroso sherry casks made at A. Paez Toneleria in Jerez for the Lustau sherry house. Come to think of it, I saw a bottle of Lustau sherry at the LCBO the other day; I should have picked it up to compare...
The colour is a bright medium amber. Quite spicy on the nose, with dry grasses, cereal, marzipan, Mackintosh apple and a very slight hint of wood smoke. Water makes it maltier and adds a note of freshly-sawed pine. The tannins and dark fruits from the oloroso are there, but nicely in the background, without overwhelming the spirit.
Rich and spicy on the palate, with a creamy, oily mouthfeel. Peppery spices, walnut and dates. Cinnamon apple. Like the Midleton Very Rare I just wrote about, there is a delicious strawberries and cream note. Quite oaky. This must have been beautiful sherry, which is brought front-and-centre with a drop of water. Amazing.
The finish is mouth-watering, with milder spices and thick oak. This is a wonderful whiskey, exactly up my alley - spicy, malty, sweet and rounded out with the right amount of oak. To find a sherry-finished whisky that doesn't overwhelm the palate (like the Tyrconnell I wrote about yesterday) is a real treat. Grab it while you can.