Review: Redbreast 12


Midleton Distillery 4See this post for some background on Midleton Distillery. The Midelton Distilleries complex is home to some of the most popular Irish whiskey brands in the world including Jameson, Tullamore Dew, Redbreast and Powers. This production can be achieved due to the number of different stills that they maintain at the plant. Redbreast is a brand of single pot still whiskey which is a type of whiskey that is made from malted and unmalted barley in a pot still. You may think of it as an Irish version of single malt whisky. Single pot still whiskey also undergoes triple distillation compared to single malt whisky which is typically distilled twice. The only two single pot still whiskey brands available in the US market are Redbreast and Green Spot and they’re both made a Midelton. Redbreast 12 is the entry level whiskey to the award winning range and is aged in ex-Oloroso Sherry casks and ex-bourbon casks. It’s bottled at a palatable 40% ABV which makes it an ideal daily sipper. In 2010 Redbreast 12 was proclaimed the Irish Whiskey of the year by the esteemed whisky writer Jim Murray. More recently in 2013 it was named the ‘Overall ┬áIrish Whiskey of the Year’ at the Irish Whiskey Awards.

Tasting Notes

Redbreast 12Nose: toasted almonds, vanilla, pine, candied dried fruits, allspice

Mouth: honey, toffee, toasted coconut, oranges, cinnamon

Finish: oak spices, marshmallows, charred oak, short

Score: 83/100

Verdict: This is the definition of a daily dram. At 40% ABV this whisky goes down smoothly but it also manages to pack quite a bit of flavor. The fruity nature of the 12 is evident on the nose with candied dried fruits, orange peels, cinnamon and a hint of vanilla. The texture is silky smooth. On the mouth there’s brown sugar, honey, apricot and toasted marshmallows. The honey gets even sweeter on the finish along with some oak spices and marshmallows. My only complaint is that the finish is so short and fades almost immediately. This whiskey is so easy to drink that it’s dangerous. Despite it being only 40% ABV it’s packed full of flavor which is a testament to fine craftsmanship. I’ll have to try the Redbreast 12 cask strength for comparison and I’d suspect that the cask strength version would be even more flavorful.

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