Redbreast 12 y/o, Cask Strength

Maker: Irish Distillers, Midleton, County Cork, Ireland (Pernod-Ricard)Redbreast 12 CS

Style: Single Pot Still (distilled in a pot still using malted and unmalted barley)

ABV: 59.9%

Notes: Unchillfiltered.

Michigan State Minimum: $65

Appearance: Dark copper (color probably added) with long, thick legs.

Nose: Rich and powerful. Caramel, butterscotch, old fashioned bourbon, leather, alcohol. Water opens it up a little and dials down the alcohol burn.

On the palate: Full bodied and sweet. Vanilla nougat, homemade caramels, chocolate covered toffee bars and bourbon with a big hit of alcohol on the tail end. Again, a splash of water tones down the burn but here it also obliterates the chocolate notes.

Finish: Classic Irish finish. Sweet cereal with a little bit of rubber and a lot of tingle all around the mouth as it fades slowly. Water opens it up and brings the cereal notes to the fore.

Parting words: Irish Distillers is the largest producer of whiskey in Ireland, producing two of the biggest brands of Irish whiskey worldwide, Jameson’s and Power’s. Redbreast is their high-end line of Single Pot Still (as opposed to blended) whiskey. The other expressions are the the standard Redbreast 12 y/o which I reviewed back in 2011, the 15 y/o and the new 21 y/o.

I loved the standard 12 y/o. This is even better, and at just $5 more it’s a fantastic bargain. The one off note I detected was the rubbery note, but it only shows up in the finish and dissipates quickly. Rubber or not, Cask Strength Redbreast is a truly great whiskey. It is exquisitely balanced but powerful and full of Irish character. It’s the best Irish whiskey I’ve ever had and one of my favorite spirits of any type. Redbreast Cask Strength is highly recommended.

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  1. #1 by tanstaafl2 on March 17, 2014 - 10:45 am

    Nice review! Might be worthwhile to note the batch of Redbreast 12 CS being reviewed here. The picture looks to be the B1/13 which is the third batch (that I am aware of) and a slightly higher proof than the first two I believe. I have not had the opportunity to try this one yet but have tried the first two and was able to compare them side by side just a couple of days ago. While similar to be sure they do seem slightly different from one another with the first batch having a bit more fruit notes than the second to me.

    • #2 by Josh on March 17, 2014 - 12:00 pm

      I didn’t even notice the batch number before you pointed it out. Yes that is it.

      I’d love to try a head to head with a couple different batches. Maybe I’ll hold on to what’s left of this one for such a purpose. Thanks for commenting!

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