We have discussed as a club the now dwindling Irish options on the shelf as we approach our 6th year together. Our plan initially was to rotate three themes, each theme getting its own meeting and every now and then we throw in a Canadian or world whiskey. Every third meeting was devoted to Irish whiskey. This is getting harder and harder. In fact, the last meeting we had with Irish whiskey as the sole theme was March of 2016. However, that day we reviewed Red Breast 12 Cask Strength. It’s almost downright poetic that we, I’m somewhat certain of this, have not reviewed another Irish selection since that glorious pour. The reason why is because almost to a man we agreed that this is probably the only Irish whiskey you will ever need. Of course, we will drink others. I love Yellowspot, for one. And that 21 year old Teeling was a religious experience. But at the very least there is no justification I can think of needed to buy the standard Red Breast 12 ever again. On to some particulars…
Red Breast CS is simply the cask strength version of the 12 year old. Nothing is different except the proof. This Midleton produced wonder still has the standard components of malted and un-malted barley distilled in a pot still (this style was formerly designated “Pure Pot Still,” but now referred to as “Single Pot Still”). No chill filtration. It is just closer to what sat in a barrel for 12 years than the standard version. Does it really get any better than this? The day we try Red Breast 21 may change it all, but at present this little dram will posses repeated space in our cabinets. Enough gushing, let’s get to it….
Nose- Full, lovely. Sherry ripe raisins and sugared dates. Wine-ish. Nice toffee. Spice cabinet. Milk chocolate and salted caramel with apricot and huckleberry. Plum
Taste- Oily. Chocolate. Rich and round. Light caramel.
Finish- Big explosion of fruit. Succulent. Caramel and sherry. Drops a bit. Medium length.
Comments- Fantastic. This is the superior expression of Pure Pot Still you could reasonably find available on the shelf. Complex, developed and wonderful to drink. Goodbye, standard 12 year old.
SWC Rating – 90/100
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