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So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Redbreast 15yo 46%

The Redbreast range of Irish Whiskey are ‘pure pot still’ whiskies, meaning a mixture of malted and unmalted barley is mashed, and the resulting wash is then distilled in pot stills. This uniquely Irish style began when distillers started substituting some malt with unmalted barley (actually they also experimented with other grains) to offset the high tax on malt. This fiscal necessity morphed into custom, and happily gives us one of the world’s great styles of whiskey/whisky.

Browsing through a whisky store, you might have seen other expressions like Powers or Green Spot/Yellow Spot, these are also pure pot still whiskies and, like Redbreast, are distilled at Midleton. What differentiates them then? Here the variables are the proportion of malt to unmalted barley used, the wood used for cask maturation, but also the particular distillation regime. Midleton has 4 standard mashbill-distillation options that vary the heaviness of the spirit, ranging from a ‘Light Pot Still’ (IDG code LMP1), to two Medium Modified Pot Still (‘Mod Pot’ – IDG code MMP) and a ‘Heavy Pot Still’ (‘Trad Pot’). Special runs using tweaked versions of these regimes may also be used, and if you add the option of blending, the available variations are quite quite numerous.

By the way, an idea of how huge the Midletons stills are:

midleton stills (alcademics.com)

This is Redbreast 15, the middle child with a 12yo and 21yo siblings. There is also a 12 yo cask strength version available of late. Redbreast has a distinct sherry influence, with at least 25% first fill oloroso, paired to a mod pot distillate (unverified!).

Redbreast_15(Commerical image)

Nose  Nose: Curious (read: good) mix of bourbony notes plus juiciness and sherry sweetness. Spilt pudding on a leather settee, with the potstill copper and juicy berries/redcurrants are not far behind. Quite sweetly spiced too and somewhere in there is cocoa powder and boxed prunes. Well balanced or well blended rather. Very Irish but bursting at the seams with lots and lots of flavour.

Taste  Palette: Sweet and surprisingly spicy first. A bit on the hot side, mellowing into dessert spice and then berry juice, also lots of  leather and oak with a coating oily feel. Eventually becoming dustier with some crumbling dry leaves.

Finish  Finish: Fruity and spicy, and gleaming copper.

Score92

 

I should be drinking more Irish, enough said.

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This entry was posted on March 9, 2015 by in Irish, Redbreast and tagged , .
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