It has been a few months ago that I reviewed the Redbreast 12 Cask Strength and that made me curious about the standard 12 year old, which I had not tasted before. But that idea faded a bit into the background, but luckily there was Robbert to the rescue! Who sent me a sample of this Redbreast. Cheers for that Robbert!
Redbreast has a long history and is the best selling Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey in the world. First released at the beginning of the 20th century, when Jameson signed a contract with Gilbeys, a wine and spirits company. Gilbeys had the barrels and Jameson delivered the new make, a match made in heaven as it now turns out.
In the meantime, Jameson was taken over by Irish Distillers, but the contract with Gilbeys remains and so does Redbreast. However, in 1985, Gilbeys stopped producing Redbreast, which meant the end for the brand. This proved to be short lived, as Redbreast was relaunched in 1991, this time by Irish Distillers. Initially, it was just this standard 12 year old, but over the years quite a few others have been added to the core range.
This Redbreast has matured in bourbon and sherry casks and is bottled at 40% ABV.
Redbreast 12 year old tasting notes:
Nose: spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of cloves. A hint of oak. Vanilla and caramel fudge. Sweet mandarins and red apples. But also red berries and blackberries. Milk chocolate. And some lovely honey.
Taste: a lovely creamy texture. Quite some milk chocolate. Orange peels and red berries. Some oak in the background. Black pepper, tobacco leaves, some mint and creme brulee.
Finish: mid-long with mostly creme brulee and slightly peppery.
Although bottled at 40%, I don’t think that’s an issue at all here. It’s so flavourful. The texture of the mouthfeel is also wonderfully creamy and velvety. But it never gets bland because there is a lovely light spicy kick that follows. Absolutely impressed with this. An excellent entry-level whiskey and great value for money. (I immediately bought a bottle for my dad’s birthday 😁)