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Redbreast Lustau Edition

Different is good

2 087

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

13th Apr 2018


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

According to their website, Redbreast Lustau "is initially matured in traditional bourbon and sherry casks for a period of 9-12 years. It is then finished for 1 additional year in first fill hand selected sherry butts that have been seasoned with the finest Oloroso sherry from the prestigious Bodegas Lustau in Jerez." So, if my limited math skills are correct, Redbreast Lustau is a vatting of whiskies between 10-13 years old. It is unchill-filtered and is bottled at a respectable 46% ABV. On paper, there's a lot to like. But the $64 000 question is: How does it taste?

Tasting notes

  • Nose (undiluted): sweet with plenty of dark fruit; figs, dates, prunes, also some slightly brighter notes, blackberries perhaps, dark toffee and toasted oak

  • Palate (undiluted): very rich arrival, thick and full-bodied, sweet and buttery, more fruit (apricots?) with a hint of raw almonds and hazelnuts. With time in the glass, I also get a very slight note of unripe banana. Seriously. It's there.

  • Finish: medium length, more dates and figs, some "green" notes (unmalted barley?), oak spices and fresh tobacco lingering.

Adding water mutes the fruitiness of the nose significantly. The oak and almonds dominate with water added. The flavour becomes much flatter. The texture becomes less like butter and more like low-fat cream. Or like skim milk. Adding water thins out the body and changes everything I love about this whiskey. I'd say avoid water altogether. The taste and texture were downright unpleasant with water added. Very weird. Lustau Edition is bottled at 46% ABV, which is fairly close to my sweet spot. One of the wonderful things about Redbreast is its rich, thick texture. There's no reason to change that. To paraphrase an expression I heard somewhere else, adding water to Redbreast is like putting a child-safety seat in Grave Digger. You can do it, but it just feels wrong.

Redbreast Lustau Edition does not disappoint. It's everything I expect from an Irish Single Pot Still (richness and slight spice) with the dark fruit kicked up a few notches. It didn't blow my mind or change my life though. The 12 Year Old Cask Strength is superior, at least to my palate, but perhaps the comparison isn't fair. Still, the Lustau Edition is a nice addition to the Redbreast family.

This one was fairly easy to score as my enjoyment score and perceived quality score are pretty similar

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