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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Redbreast 12 year old Cask Strength, batch B1/14

Compared to the other three batches being reviewed this week, B1/14 has by far the darkest hue. Of course, this whole series likely had e150a added. But this one wasn't orange-y or bland brown like many colorant-abused whiskies. It had the sort of color that drives some people to overpay for sherry cask whiskies.

I skipped over B1/13 because I don't even remember its existence, and also I didn’t have a sample of it. Thanks to an old friend, JLR, I did have a B1/14. I even remember swapping samples that day, more than six years ago, when we were both new fathers. That was another life entirely.

Brand: Redbreast
Country: Ireland
Distillery: Midleton
: Single Pot Still
Age: minimum 12 years
Maturation: ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks
Batch: B1/14
Release year: 2014
Alcohol by Volume: 58.2%
Chillfiltered? No
Colored? Probably
(many thank yous to JLR for the sample!)


The nose begins with, yes, a big sherry cask note reminiscent of Macallan circa 2014. Dried berries, toasted nuts and carob. Cardamom pods, vanilla bean and toffee. Once reduced to 40%abv, the whiskey's nose takes on a surprising medicinal/iodine character, which matches well with the pipe tobacco, dark chocolate, raspberry jam and Luxardo syrup.

The palate's a bit tighter than the nose at full strength. Less overt sherry cask action as well. There are lemons, brown sugar and cinnamon. Then cayenne pepper, honey and almonds. Dilution to 40%abv opens the palate up as well. Brown sugar + pineapple + pie crust, but nowhere near as sugary as it sounds. Herbal bitterness and grapefruits glow in the background

Heat and honey in the finish, with small notes of black pepper, almonds and lemons. Reducing the whisky to 40%abv sweetens up the finish, while also adding some tart limes and grapefruits.


Ah ha, I was waiting for one of these batches to shine brighter at the regular 12yo strength of 40%abv. I wouldn't say the sherry casks and bourbon casks and spirit are fighting it out, rather it's kind of a cold war. They're not voluntarily commingling, but they're not fouling everything up either. The result is something that is more reminiscent of single malt scotch, than of Irish pot still. Will this whiskey's Taste Off partner follow the same path......?

Availability - This batch is gone
Pricing - ???
Rating - 85 (diluted)

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