I have far too many choices at this point and I have no idea what to review next, and thats just in the bottles I own. So I figured I’d see what you wanted an opinion on. Maybe I have something you haven’t tried and would like a heads up on or about. Anyway vote in the poll and I’ll review something this saturday night.
So enjoy, and I’d love to read the feedback so please vote if you have an opinion.
Milestones are all about reminding yourself about the journey it’s taken to get to a certain point. My first 1000 views have been a blast, getting to know new people, learning new things, and drinking new whiskeys all along the way. Here’s to my next 1000, and for those of you who read and comment, thank you for acknowledging me, even if it is only by spending the time to look at the words I string together on the page.
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.
This was my first trip into the so-called “Classic Malts”, and I must say that given my limited scotch experience (and lack of enthusiasm for that branch of whisky-dom) I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by this one.
Now when I say I was pleasantly surprised, don’t mistake my sentiment for excitement. I was just glad that GK wasn’t a BAD experience. It wasn’t stellar, or something worth writing home about (though apparently its worth blogging about…), it just wasn’t a bad experience. My past experiences with scotch have been less than satisfactory, which makes me lean away from the scotch portion of the whiskey aisle whenever I go spirit shopping. GK, however, was my first positive experience. It didn’t bowl me over, but it didn’t lead me to put down the glass either.
This is another whiskey that really needs to open in order for me to enjoy it. After the two ice cubes got to about half way the flavor really expanded. At first it is very dry tasting, and has a very earthy flavor, wood and a little bit of smoke dancing around behind the wall of earth. However, once the water got into the mix, the flavor really expanded, giving it a really round mouth-feel and bringing the oaky flavor (which I love) further forward, and the smoky flavor (which tends to disagree with me) further back.
Over all, I had a good time with GK, but wouldn’t push for a second date. (Though I’ll still finish my bottle 😉 )
*note. All methods reflect two fingers of alcohol in a standard 8 oz. rocks glass