Review: Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Redbreast 12 CS 2.jpg
~58% (varies)
12 yrs; Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon Casks
Malted and Unmalted Barley
Distiller Midleton (Midleton, Ireland)

This whiskey is a cask strength and non-chill filtered version of our terrific standard 12 year old. It is extremely well received across the board, and has been very well received by the Ontario consumers (including me!) who got a crack at this earlier in the year when it came to the LCBO.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: B1/13 (59.9%)

  • Bottling Code: L310731095 13:02

  • Bottling Date: 2013

Oak, that comes off as a bit musty. Green apple, creamy vanilla, hay, honey, dried apricot, a touch of sherry, and lots of nuts – the nose is a bit dense at cask strength, but it does well even watered down to 40%. Lots of apple seeds too. The palate shows a whole lot of grassy barley, supplemented with a lot of creaminess and vanilla. A bit tangy, also, on the palate, with some tannins that pull at you. Surprising, the amount of oak here, after not showing a whole lot directly in the standard 12 year old. The finish is full and creamy, with lots of green apple and oaky vanilla. I’m not sure that I would immediately think – redbreast 12 YO, but at cask strength – if I picked this up, though of course there’s no doubt it’s in the same family. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cask strength whisky which is so creamy as this – it is quite the effect, between the creaminess, the spice, the fruit, and the oak. Terrific whisky.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, at $110.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: B1/15 (57.4%)

  • Bottling Code: L506331036 12:24

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Oak comes off first – this one is a bit softer than the 2013 version, and woodier. Vanilla, red apple, honey, dried apricot, and grain – almost like wheat flour. Some beautiful grassy pot-still character, with green apple, raspberries, lots of creamy vanilla, and a bit of clove and cinnamon. Compelling pot still character too, unsurprisingly. I don’t always love pot still, but I’ve always loved how it rears its head in Redbreast. The finish is full and lightly sweet, holding vanilla, clove, cinnamon, grassy grain, and apple. Quite brilliant, and measurably better than the previous batch from 2013 which I reviewed.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, at $110.