...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Redbreast 12 year old Cask Strength, batch B1/11 (re-review)

I'm going to take a week-long break from Ardbeg to review Redbreast. And by that I mean full-powered Redbreast. And by that I mean four batches of the 12yo Cask Strength and one single sherry cask.

If you're a newer reader, then lemme catch you up. I adore Redbreast. Not only is it my favorite Irish whiskey, but I think it was one of the finest whiskies in the world. I say "was" because damned Scottish single malt has had me distracted for the larger part of the past decade, so I don't know what's happened with the standard Redbreast releases.

This very bottle of Cask Strength batch B1/11 was reviewed EIGHT years ago, back when I was handing out 90+-point scores to every Redbreast I'd meet. I gave this whiskey a 91-point score. And for some reason, I've been sitting on a 2oz sample from that very bottle ever since. So, I'm going to start this week with a re-review of that whiskey, and then I'll review its sparring partner tomorrow.

↑ this guy is from this guy ↓

Brand: Redbreast
Country: Ireland
Distillery: Midleton
: Single Pot Still
Age: minimum 12 years
Maturation: ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks
Batch: B1/11
Bottle Code: L120231241 10:22
Release year: 2011
Alcohol by Volume: 57.7%
Chillfiltered? No
Colored? Probably


At full power, the nose unites oranges, apricots, eucalyptus, lilac, brown sugar, roasted almonds and a tickle of brine. Lemon cake and orange scones lead the nose once the whisky is reduced to 40%abv. There's a nice float of wort in the background, and a few roses in the midground.

The warm palate reads very close to the nose with its tangy citrus and stone fruits. Smaller notes of fresh ginger and vanilla bean linger in the back. The sweetness is kept in check by a growing tartness. Metals and minerals emerge after about 20 minutes. It's all very well knit. Reduced to 40%abv, the whiskey's palate becomes sweet and lemony, with a bunch of tart dried cranberries. Hints of sea salt and pencil shavings perch in the background.

It lands the finish with lemons, brown sugar, minerals and nectarines. A near perfect balance of tart and sweet. Diluted to 40%abv, the whiskey's finish holds lemon candy, sea salt and a hint of American oak.


I wasn't too crazy eight years ago (in fact, I was probably saner), this whisky is a joy. My notes do not match those of the old review, in fact I no longer see the two cask types battling it out. It's balanced with a precision I don't frequently find in current Scotch or Irish whiskies. Water does seem to bring out the oak a bit, so in a 8-year 180-degree turn I'd say keep it neat. When neat, it sticks the landing brilliantly. The brand began this cask strength series well.

Availability - This batch is gone
Pricing - sorry, can't remember
Rating - 90

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