Bringing Redbreast Home to the Parents


There is really nothing quite like returning back home after a few months away. Catching up with family, the dogs and old friends over home cooked meals and a cheeky few pints at the local. Not much can top that, unless you happen to have taken a bottle of the new Redbreast Cask Strength 12 year old release home with you. This, my friends, heralds good times indeed!

So, here I am having just enjoyed one of mama G’s home cooked steak stews, alongside mum, dad and one half of the younger sister act. What better place to try this whiskey for the first time. Now, if anyone is unfamiliar with Redbreast it is a single pot still Irish whiskey, distilled at Midleton Distillery in Cork, owned by Pernod Ricard. The standard release is the 12 year old, although they also released a 15 year old last year which is utterly fantastic and when Chris gave me a sample it swiftly shot into my top whisk(e)y list of 2010. It is safe to say then, that I jumped at the opportunity to try this release. Being one, of only a few single pot still whiskeys left, it is triple distilled from a batch of both malted and unmalted barley. It is then stored for 12 years in oak sherry casks and is bottled at 57.7%. This first batch is supposedly 68 casks strong, so there should be plenty bottles to go around and the batch number is B1/11. I explained to my parents what cask strength was and the frightened expressions on their face was enough to tell me that Redbreast would have a hard job stealing them away from their post stew wine. For me, that choice was simple so I cracked open the bottle, expecting a fantastic fiery demon and this is what I found:


Redbreast Cask Strength


Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength

Batch No: B1/11

ABV 57.7%

Nose: The official tasting notes for this dram say ‘fruit explosion’, it is very hard to argue that. Wowing waves of spicy sultana, rich sherry and fiery, rich spice notes. The later waves come at you with a mixture of sweet apple and mama G’s home-made rock cakes. Rock cakes with an almighty kick.

Palate: Sizzles and flashes across the tongue before giving away to a creamy, smooth yet oily coat. Lots and lots of sugared dried fruit, singed shortbread and apple strudel.

Finish: Absolutely huge. Fulfilling, rich, creamy and warm. Sweet yet, chewy and slightly spicy. Sherry infused toffee crisp.

Overall: Well that certainly did not disappoint. An epic dram, full of sharp, fresh flavours and aromatic aromas. I will have to go back to the 15 year old again, but I reckon this may even pip that experience. As far as my family were concerned; sister baulked at the nose, mum admitted that after the initial alcohol blast it smelled rather pleasant, and father Stevo… well this picture taken after tasting, says it all.


Stevo's First Reaction

Despite the initial shock from high alcohol content assaulting his system, Stevo recovered and even went on to enjoy the whiskey for what it really was. You can trust me when I say that this is no mean feat, congratulations Redbreast and keep them coming.



Graeme Gardiner




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