Alright Already: Redbreast 12 Year Cask Strength

Seems like there was a law that all whiskey bloggers have to cover this one. The licensing bureau just sent me my notice that if I didn’t, my blog license would be revoked. I’d hate for that to happen, so without further ado..

Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength (Batch B1/11) 57.7% ABV
Nose:  A slightly thin nose that is also a little doughy – sugar cookies. Lightly piney, white pepper and pears are the leaders on the nose. Honey is a base for everything. A touch of cinnamon against the sweetness. Water actually brings up some oily and slight tarry notes and gives it a faintly floral top end.
Palate:  Rich and oily, faintly sour and with an extremely faintly tarry note. Honey and white pepper with a tiny dab of chili oil to heat things up. Some maltiness and some grain at the base of this. Again, water opens up a floral dimension, but really blows away the interest and complexity.
Finish: Warm initially, with that oiliness and some of the pine notes leading. Some wood shows up as it starts to last and it dries slightly. Long, lingering and warm finish.
Comment:  It’s Redbreast! It’s got that oily palate that’s familiar from prior tastings. It’s better than most Irish whiskies and worth a try. Unfortunately that doesn’t really bump it up into must-have territory.
Rating: B-

Yes, it’s better than the average Irish whiskey. Unfortunately that’s not saying a lot. If you can’t get Trader Joe’s Single Malt, which I think is a genuinely interesting mix of Irish peat and familiar Irish sweetness, this is probably the next best thing. If Irish whiskies are to your liking, huzzah! You’ve hit the peak and it’s reasonably priced. Sadly, they just don’t do a lot for me, so I have to hunt down cask strength bottles of Scotch whisky bottled in idiotic toy boats.

Still waiting for the Irish whiskey that will flip my lid.

7 thoughts on “Alright Already: Redbreast 12 Year Cask Strength”

  1. Funny Sku just reviewed this one at the LAWS. Same rating! Coincidence????? Hahahaha…anyway good review considering it doesn’t really move you much. Connemara is that way for me (the Trader Joe’s version is so good even though it is a Connemara single malt, strange). On the whole, Irish whiskies are pretty mundane compared to Scotch. As for the Redbreast, I am a big fan –especially of the CS. I like a dram of Redbreast at least once a week. I think the Midleton distillery produces some pretty great stuff in general. That said, I’d probably only rate it a solid B+/B for some of the same reasons you mentioned.

    1. Yeah, Sku and I have a tendency on some things to be reasonably close in grades. I didn’t look at his until after checking mine but I wasn’t surprised to see that grade. Like I said, I don’t think Irish generally moves me – the TJ’s is nice enough. Oddly though Connemara single doesn’t do it for me either. The TJ’s just adds some bready, baked sweetness that sits perfectly against the lighter peat.

      I’ve had both CS and the original deal. Neither are bad but they just don’t grab me – I always kind of think I could be having something else. I will have to try the 15 at some point but I doubt 3 extra years in wood is going to be a major change. 

      That being said, I have had Midleton Very Rare once or twice and I thought it was pretty good, but it was nothing resembling a controlled tasting. I would have pegged it as a B based on that, which means it’s potentially a B+ (or a B-) for me. 

      I’ll have to try some other Midleton in the future, but being responsible for Jameson isn’t a good start. ;) 

  2. Funny Sku just reviewed this one at the LAWS. Same rating! Coincidence????? Hahahaha…anyway good review considering it doesn’t really move you much. Connemara is that way for me (the Trader Joe’s version is so good even though it is a Connemara single malt, strange). On the whole, Irish whiskies are pretty mundane compared to Scotch. As for the Redbreast, I am a big fan –especially of the CS. I like a dram of Redbreast at least once a week. I think the Midleton distillery produces some pretty great stuff in general. That said, I’d probably only rate it a solid B+/B for some of the same reasons you mentioned.

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