Until recently getting your hands on a single pot still whiskey was no easy task. Redbreast as a 12 year old was generally available via most off licenses. Greenspot was less so and gained its iconic status as generally only being available from wine merchants Mitchell’s & Sons. A few years ago Irish Distillers launch a 15 year old version of Redbreast, but even that appeared to be a limited run as it floated in and out of the market at greatly different prices.
Now these three whiskeys have been joined in the last twelve months or so by at least six other single pot still whiskeys.
I was one of a lucky few who were at a pre launch of Redbreast 12 year old cask strength a few days ago. IDL have released cask strength whiskey before, although in order to purchase them you required a wallet fatter than a pre Nama construction mogul (fat wallet whiskeys). This little beauty will come to the market in the €60 price bracket making it quite affordable to the Redbreast fan. Bottle at 57.7% from a batch of 68 casks it should yield approx 12,000 plus bottles, so its not going to be a collectors item just yet.
The whiskey has all the typical Redbreast notes, rich, spicy and oily. On the nose it was surprising, as the big alcohol kick that my nose normally gets from cask strength whiskey wasn't there, it was more like being battered with an oak baseball bat, such were the strong wood aromas. That oily spicy trait from Redbreast 12 year old coated the palate, but i couldn't help detecting a Bertie Bassett liquorice all sort or two (the ones with the blue vermicelli). It has a deep rich finish with a touch of ginger snap that lingers on in the mouth. I didn't add water, but it would certainly change it, opening up some more flavours and aroma.
Redbreast 12 year old cask strength will appear in off-sales in Ireland from Tuesday and bars from Thursday.
For those of you wondering what the other five single pot still whiskeys that were released in the last 12 months or so, they are:-
Midleton Single Cask 1991 (for Dublin Airport).
Midleton Single Cask 1996 (for Celtic Whiskey Shop).
Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy.
Powers 12 years old Johns Lane Release.
And another Midleton Single cask for Dublin Airport as the first one sold out.