Price – 750 ml – $49.99 – (local)
Method – 2 ice cubes in two fingers
Rating – 94-100
In the interest of full disclosure I should say that I have had my bottle of Redbreast for a few months now and the glass I wrote my review from was the last glass in the bottle. The entire bottle was well worth the slightly higher price tag that I paid for it and I would suggest it readily to anyone who asked for a good Irish whiskey.
The drink experience is much better after allowing the alcohol to open with either a spoonful of water or a few ice cubes and I would definitely suggest drinking almost any Irish with at least a little bit of water. As most Pot Still whiskeys (which most iconic Irish is – read more about pot still Irish whiskey and its origins here) it has a lot of spice which mellows with the water and air. Redbreast has a bold spice note on the drink but has little heat until well after the swallow. The finish has heavy amounts of spice followed by a mouth-filling warmth if you let it settle for about 20-25 seconds. The finish is very long and gets warmer and more full the longer you let it set.
One suggestion when drinking is to let the whiskey sit in your mouth for 10+ seconds before swallowing. It mellows the spice and really allows the complexity to take over. There is very little heat to the whiskey so holding it for a few seconds shouldn’t be a problem.
A tip I read for drinking new whiskeys, which has almost always led me to good things, is to let the whiskey swirl in your mouth for the 1 second per year of aging. So for Redbreast, 12 years = 12 seconds. The extra time on the palate pays dividends in the flavor department. Also, if it is a whiskey that is over 90 proof, drinking is straight is fine, but if you don’t add at least a little bit of water, the alcohol content is going to shock your taste buds and not really allow you to taste the whiskey. Two things that will make any whiskey experience better.
Official Website: n/a
Official Description: n/a