Redbreast 12 Years Review

Country: Ireland
Brand: Redbreast
Type: Single Pot Still Whiskey
Age: 12
Alcohol: 40%

Colour:  Full Gold

Nose: Very Complex! Give it some time to open up. Lots of Fruit in here. Ripe Dark Red Fruits like Black Cherries but also Apples, Peaches and Pears. There are some similarities with Rye-Whiskey as well. I get Wax, Spices and lightly charred Oak. Nuts and Dried Fruits like Raisins and maybe Apricots. Sherry is present and so are Vanilla, Porridge, Brown Sugar and Orange Peel. Hints of Earth and Sweet Marzipan or Marshmallows. I’m nosing this for almost half an hour already and still I get new impressions. If I have to sum it up this smells like a Multi-Flavoured Fruitcake prepared with Butter and decorated with Nuts, Dried Fruits and Citrus Peels. Quite a Desert! After another half hour or so, I smelled the empty glass again and I was rewarded with the very pleasant aromas of a Peach/Apricot Pie. This is truly the best Nose of the Irish Whiskies I've tasted so far.

Taste: A bit disappointing really after the great Nose. Rather dominating Spices, basically Black Pepper and Nutmeg. I also find Nuts, Honey, Citrus Peels, Raisins, Sherry, Oak, Licorice, Toffee and Sugared Banana Candies. Not really well-balanced.

Finish: Middle-Long and slightly dry in the end with Vanilla, Black Pepper, Licorice, Anise and a touch of Honey.

I added a couple of drops of Water and you get some more Fruit Cake on the Nose. In general however I didn’t find any substantial changes. Better enjoy this dram neat!

Rating: 86 

Nose: 23 – Taste: 21– Finish: 20.5 – Overall: 21.5

General Remarks: This whiskey is produced at the Old Midleton Distillery in Cork, part of the Pernod Ricard Group. Jameson is also produced at this complex. Redbreast 12 is the only aged Single Pot Still Whiskey at the moment, using malted and un-malted Barley in the mash bill. It is Triple-Distilled and matures in Oloroso Sherry - and Bourbon Casks.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: Beautiful Complex Nose! If only Palate and Finish could maintain the same high quality. It would have climbed to one of the top spots in my rankings so far. But as so often, that’s not the case. The Spices are a bit too dominant. I’m slightly disappointed really. It’s certainly a well-crafted Whiskey and it will serve well as an after dinner dram. It is in the same class as the GlenDronach Allardice 18 for that purpose. But taste-wise, it’s not a whiskey I would need to keep in my cabinet at all times. Although I would love to sniff it from time to time!  

Jan van den Ende                                                                October 7, 2012

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