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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Redbreast 12 year old Cask Strength, batch B1/12

It's an old tale, the rock 'n roll band releases such a brilliant first album that the second album is often destined to suffer under the weight of expectations. But also the band had much more time to work through the first album's material, while a time limit often rushes the second one. Meanwhile all the sex and drugs delay proper songwriting focus. I say this knowing absolutely nothing about the subject matter.

With that in mind, I tasted Redbreast 12yo Cask Strength batch 1 (aka B1/11) alongside batch 2 (aka B1/12). There's a very good chance I had a bottle of B1/12 in 2013-2014 and consumed it briskly. Because I left myself not a drop of that theoretical bottle, I had to source a sample. Batch B1/12 had similar cask types, age and resulting ABV as its predecessor. Cask strength Irish pot still whiskey was in its infancy at the time, so could they assemble another hit?

Brand: Redbreast
Country: Ireland
Distillery: Midleton
: Single Pot Still
Age: minimum 12 years
Maturation: ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks
Batch: B1/12
Release year: 2012
Alcohol by Volume: 58.6%
Chillfiltered? No
Colored? Probably
(from a bottle split)


White peaches, dried apricots and peach gummies lead the nose. Flower blossoms, citronella candles and fresh laundry are in the middle, with a rumble of industrial metal/grease underneath. The nose brightens up further when diluted to 40%abv, with notes of jasmine, sugar cookies and molasses.

Compared to B1/11, the palate has less heat, but more pepperiness. Less fruit, more minerals, though gradually a few lemons do arrive. The pot still heart peeks out as a bit of the nose's industrial note shows up late. It gets tarter with time, but remains quite lean. Somehow reducing it to 40%abv makes it even leaner. Very little sweetness, maybe a few hints of lemon. A slight bitter bite meets meets a metallic note. Again, its tartness expends after a while.

It finishes with tart oranges, tangy pepper sauce, machine shop and a hint of sweetness. Once reduced to 40%abv, vanilla and lemons take over. Hints of bitterness and metal remain in the background.


The nose is pretty but I couldn't unlock the palate. Had the palate brought in some of the nose's characteristics, this would have been another big winner. Due to the absence of depth and fruit, I found the whiskey’s darker spirity note the most interesting aspect of this batch. I also appreciate the lack of aggressive oak. Though possibly a very good whisky when tried on its own, B1/12 proved to be a couple steps weaker than B1/11. And again, I prefer it served neatly.

Availability - This batch is gone
Pricing - sorry, can't remember
Rating - 84