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March 7, 2018

Review: Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

by Jeff Ellingson

Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley which is sourced predominantly from farms within the Munster region surrounding the distillery.  The spirit is triple distilled in copper pot stills and then aged a minimum of 12 years in a combination of once used bourbon and once used Oloroso Sherry barrels.  The Master Blender at Midleton Distillery then blends the whiskey before bottling at 80 proof.  At it’s peak single pot still Irish Whiskey accounted for 80% of the whiskey produced world wide.  Today the Midelton Distillery is the only distillery producing single pot still Irish Whiskey.  Redbreast takes its name from the Robin Redbreast which sings continuously through the dark Irish winters.  It was originally produced by Gilbey’s with whiskey distilled by the John Jameson Distillery.  Gilbeys stopped production in 1985 and sold the brand to Irish Distillers the following year.  In 1991 Redbreast returned and it is one of several brands of single pot still whiskey crafted at the New Midleton Distillery.  Some of the others include Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Midelton, and Power.  Redbreast is the worlds best selling single pot still whiskey.  So what is single pot still Irish Whiskey?  There are basically four types of Irish Whiskey.  Single Malt, a whiskey made from malted barley at a single distillery.  Single Grain, a whiskey made from a single grain and distillery.  Blended, a whiskey made from a combination of malt and grain not necessarily from the same distillery.  Single Pot Still, a whiskey made from a blend of malted and unmalted barley in a copper pot still.Redbreast 12 Year Old pours to a golden color.  The aroma is vanilla, grape, almond paste, peach, oak, raisin, caramel, and banana with a cherry walnut backing.  The sweet grape, raisin, and almond paste entry has a soft creamy mouth feel.  Vanilla, brown sugar, and banana arrive, joining the grape Oloroso Sherry barrel influenced flavor, for a bright fruity peak.  It fades with cherry and cinnamon, before finishing warm and dry with spicy oak and raisin taste.  Redbreast is a very smooth and tasty Irish Whiskey that was a steal years ago.  Demand has driven the price up to the point where I almost felt guilty paying $45.95 for a bottle I purchased at my local liquor store.  They obviously hadn’t adjusted their price to compete with their competitor 2 miles away who priced theirs at $69.99.

Made in Midleton Ireland

40% Alcohol

Score: 94

Award: Double Gold Medal

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