- DISTILLER: Irish Distillers
- MASH BILL: Malted and un-malted barley
- AGE: 21 years
- YEAR: 2022
- DISTILLATION: Pot distilled
- PROOF: 92 proof (46% ABV)
- MSRP: $300
SHARE WITH: Any whiskey fan, especially deserving and more knowledgeable whiskey friends—or whiskey friends to whom you’d like to introduce something different.
WORTH THE PRICE: Given the age and the craft behind it, one could argue “yes.” But $300 is a lot of money, no matter how you look at it.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bar for me, given the price. True fans of Irish whiskey likely will find the price more acceptable.
OVERALL: There’s not a thing wrong with this. It’s a beautiful, elegant and indulgent whiskey. Having gone deep down into the rabbit hole of American single barrel, barrel-proof stuff, such soft but flavorful whiskeys take some adjustment. The 92 proof adds welcome potency, depth, complexity and finish. It practically hums as it goes down the gullet.
Not surprisingly, barrel influence is more prominent than on its 12-year-old sibling. Lots of brown sugar on the nose and palate, a little campfire in the mix, and all of it are intertwined with honey and honeydew melon in the background. Baked almond croissant lingers at the perimeter with cinnamon bun, and powdered sugar icing emerges once swallowed. At no point is it dominated by its source grain—which, I’m sure is weird to read—is pleasant for me. Mouthfeel is elegant and silken while nicely invigorating. And the finish is tighter, shorter and more poignant than the 12 year. It’s as if it’s saying, “I’ve done my work, but now I’m out,” and you’re sad it’s gone.
There’s nothing to dislike about this spirit (other than the price), and surely there’s more to like about it than I’ve revealed here.
ABOUT REDBREAST 21 YEAR OLD
Using a style of Pot Still whiskey reflective of the Midleton Distillery tradition, Redbreast 21 represents the ultimate expression of Redbreast Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. The 21 year ageing process introduces new levels of depth, flavour and taste, creating a complex and rewarding whiskey. Abundantly aromatic and fruitful, and produced in very limited quantities, this 21 year old Redbreast is a joy to behold in each and every bottle.
Remarkable aroma spanning fresh tropical fruits, nuts and rich dried fruit.
Soft vanilla, toasted oak, sherry nuttiness with a dusting of spices. Luscious fleshy fruit notes complete the silky mouthfeel.
Lingers, seemingly forever, with oak and an assortment of spices and then, the final bow from barley – where it all began.