Review: Redbreast 21 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Redbreast 15.jpg
21 yrs
Malted and Unmalted Barley
Distiller Midleton (Midleton, Ireland)

When this first came out (2013 if I’m not mistaken) – it was one of the most desirable bottles in all of whisky to try. I love the redbreast line, being a big fan of the 12, 12 Cask Strength, and the 15 – so another extension, older, and bottled at 46% made me interest. On top of that, many reviewers who I trust rated it very highly – Whisky Advocate with a 96, among others – it received the 2nd perfect score in the Ultimate Beverage Competition. I don’t usually trust the „medals” of competitions – but those at the very top certainly do achieve something. So, I splurged when I found this in the US after it just came out, but now it is more of a regular release – recently appearing in Canada this last year. Let’s see how it held up to expection. At the time, the oldest single pot still whisky ever released, with some whiskies as old as 25 years going into this first batch (now there’s a 25 year old redbreast)

Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L32423156 12:04

  • Bottling Date: 2013

The nose smells old, but is still surprisingly bright. Very oaky, and spicy alongside that – like the spices from French oak you encounter in a spicy, woody cognac. Dried citrus (lemon, orange, grapefruit), rich and rooty earth, dried hibiscus petals, dried mango, a good dose of dried peach, currant, clove, vanilla, dried ginger and yet bright notes as of gooseberry, red grape, dried hibiscus flower. Yet with all this I still don’t have a handle on the nose.

The mouth has brilliant texture. Here the oily, sweet and grassy profile of the pot still comes through brilliantly. And we have citrus, dried fruit, oak, vanilla, dried mango, star anise, and still lots of peach. Brilliant grain character too, with spices and oak creeping up and battling the peach as the finish starts to unfold. It’s oaky, but not as oaky as expected after that nose. The finish has peach, oak, clove, cinnamon, vanilla, and some green tea. Just brilliant!

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

Value: Low (Based on $250).