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Review: Redbreast 15

February 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Bottle Reviews

Midleton Distillery is best known for large production whiskies under the Jameson brand. Unlike those column distilled whiskies, their Redbreast 15 is officially called a “single pot still” whiskey, but since it is distilled from a mix of malted and unmalted grains, it cannot be called a “single malt”. Typical Redbreast is distilled 3 times and the typical expression is laid down in former bourbon and sherry casks for 12 years of age, chill filtered, and then bottled at 80 proof. The 15 year I sampled is a 2010 bottling of slightly more mature stock at a slightly higher strength (92 proof) without the chill filtering.

Nose: fairly mild, with wood, cherry, toffee, poached pear, nuts, yellow cake, and vanilla.

Taste: sweet, with a silky feel despite the warm and peppery flavor akin to a rye, rather woody, with vanilla, maple, honey, cinnamon, sour cherry, and a touch of grapefruit.

Finish: warm, dry — almost tannic, definite lingering wood and resin, lots of sherry, and a bit of apple cobbler, with lingering vanilla and anise, and long-lasting spiciness.

A wonderful whiskey that I enjoy sipping during the winter months. At the price point, I’d hesitate to use it in most cocktails, but exceptions would be rather spirit forward cocktails that will not distract too much from the fine whiskey. Variations on Scotch cocktails, minding the lack of peat, and new takes on rye cocktails like Manhattans, Remember the Maine, Red Hook, et al., would be the best places to start. A Redbreast 15 Old Fashioned is also quite nice.

Redbreast 15, (Midleton Distillery, Midleton, County Cork, Republic of Ireland) $70


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  1. […] you choose, may vary more or less from the original. Using a spicier whiskey (say one of the Redbreasts) makes the overall feel closer to that of a traditional Manhattan. Use Michael Collins, and you may […]