In a nutshell: A rich, sweet and spicy blended Irish Whiskey matured in a mix of ex-bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks.
The lowdown: Redbreast 12 Year Old is their signature bottling and boasts all the flavour and complexity of a superior pot still whiskey. It's distilled from malted and unmalted barley and then matured for a minimum of 12 years in Sherry and Bourbon barrels. It has a superbly rich and nutty nose with dried peels and spice and an oily, resiny, honey notes on the palate. Silky smooth and full-bodied, the finish is satisfyingly long with all the flavours lingering deliciously.
Redbreast whiskeys are, these days, produced at the Midleton distillery in County Cork. The history of the label goes back to 1912 when the drinks firm W & A Gilbey first released their Redbreast J.J. Liqueur Whiskey using spirit from Jameson's Bow Street distillery in Dublin. Production of this and other Redbreast bottlings continued up to and through the 1960s when Jameson's merged with other Irish whisky producers and production moved to Midleton in County Cork. Irish Distillers bought the Redbreast brand from Gilbeys in the mid 1980s with the intention of re-launching these well regarded single pot still whiskeys. This came to fruition in 1991 when Redbreast 12 Year Old was re-released and which was to be followed by further expressions during the following years. Today the Redbreast brand is owned by the Pernod Ricard group who acquired Irish Distillers in 1988.