Score: 10 / 10
Distillery: Middleton Distillery
Redbreast is known for its single pot still style of whiskey. This means that it is made from a mixture of malted and unmalted barley, distilled in traditional copper pot stills. This production method contributes to the distinct character and flavor profile of Redbreast. Redbreast whiskies also often feature a significant sherry cask influence. The whiskey is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, with the sherry casks imparting rich fruity and nutty flavors to the final product. Well this one is ALL SHERRY. Sherried to the maximum of sherriedness.
This one of the best Irish whiskies that I've ever had, it's one of the best whiskies that I've ever had period. This expression strays away from traditional Irish whiskies that are ex-bourbon cask; you do not find a lot of vanilla here and there's no toffee, butterscotch, or honey. This is strictly a fruit bomb and offers unrivaled dark fruit notes. Never have I experienced rich, robust, intense, and long lasting fruit notes like this. The flavors combined with the nose and an everlasting finish make this an all time top pour. In my experience the Irish whiskies that I love the most stray from the norm and this fits perfectly. I'm proud to give this bottle a perfect score.
Nose: Intense dark fruit, fresh cherries, sweet raisins, sugar plums, nutmeg, and of course sherry. There's a warm berries and cream scent that is more than inviting which also brings licorice and potent woodiness. Digging deeper I find blackberry pipe tobacco and dark chocolate. The nose is consistent with red wine each time, but packs layers and layers to discover with each sniff.
Palate: Let's talk mouthfeel first - this is totally unique as it maintains a silky and velvety mouthfeel while rolling around the palate, but once you let it settle it becomes thick and waxy; it coats the palate and this is where an insane bloom of flavors expands across the palate delivering unrivaled robust red fruit. The fruity flavors showcase an entire cornucopia of cherries, plums, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, pomegranates, apples, red grapes, and cranberries. Alongside the fruits this pour remains thick and viscous with fig and jam notes. Sherry remains ever-present here and flavors feel like a blended red wine consisting of Merlot, Cabernet, and Pinot Noir. Underneath the other salient flavors there's a rich and creamy chocolate and berries sensation (like a cherry Ganache) that lasts throughout the drinking experience. Finally on the backend there's a light pepper spice that kicks up dry cinnamon. I've heard the term "unapologetic spice" with certain Irish whiskies and that applies here as this has no business being as easy to drink as it is at 60.3% abv.
Finish: So rich, long lasting and lingering. This pour settles onto the palate and does not leave while bring sweet boozy red wine notes. There's a spiced woodiness here that's mildly tannic on the sides of the mouth, but leathery in other places. Gentle peppery notes pop-up here and there around more dark fruits, fig jam, red grapes, and milk chocolate. Finally red apple skin and dried sherry notes linger indefinitely.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Notes: Availability? Rare - Limited Edition. This one is a distillery only release. I'm not sure if it will be released later due to popularity or not. Sort of hard to sell most 20yrs because of price point.