Maker: Irish Distillers, Midleton, County Cork, Ireland (Pernod-Ricard)
Style: Single Pot Still (distilled in a pot still using malted and unmalted barley)
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.