Redbreast 12 y.o. Cask Strength Batch No. B1/15 Review

Redbreast 12 y.o. Cask Strength Batch No. B1/15img_1058

57.4% abv

Score:  92/100


I literally could not think of a critical word to throw at this dram if I tried.  It’s whiskies like this that make me question what the hell most of the rest of Ireland has been doing for years.  And further…makes me very, very excited for what is to come from Waterford in future years.

Let’s face it, Irish whiskey has needed a kick in the ass for years.  It has lagged behind Scotch in all senses.  But now, having run headlong into a bottle like this, it’s heartening to see just how pristine the drink can be when treated with the care it deserves.  This is more than just cask strength Irish whiskey.  It’s an absolute fruitbomb marriage of spectacular barrels bottled at the perfect age.  I could go on, but it’s really unnecessary.  Just buy this whiskey.

Nose:  Fruity and floral and doused in rich milk chocolate.  Creamy orange and tangerine.  Custard and ginger.
A sprinkle of white pepper.  Grilled pineapple.  Oily jujubes.  Soft, clean wood notes.  White cake and very mild but balanced spices.

Palate:  Huge bourbon-like arrival.  Orange fruits.  Grilled, caramelized pineapple.  Pepper, cinnamon and ginger.
Toasted oak.  Threads of vanilla.  Still quite creamy.  Warm pastry.  Very rich, very deep and beautifully mouthcoating.  Nice direct tie between nose and palate here.

Thoughts:  This is a truly beautiful whisky.  Incredible composition and brilliantly vibrant.  The fruits are
exceptional.  Probably the second best Irish dram I’ve ever tried.


 – Images & Words:  Curt

12 thoughts on “Redbreast 12 y.o. Cask Strength Batch No. B1/15 Review

  1. David

    I can’t say that I get all the smells and flavours that you do in this bottle (and I assume it’s the same batch that is available at LCBO for $110), but I really enjoy this expression. I scored it a 91 on Connosr. This has been available for about 8-9 months here and I made sure to stock up early to avoid disappointment.

    So I won’t take your advice to buy this one…. because I already have!

  2. Cam

    Aw man, another whisky I’ll have to go buy ;). Great review Curt. After having tasted this one, would it knock the score of the regular 12 down a few points by comparison or would it hold its original rating?

  3. Jeff

    After trying the standard 12, I couldn’t wait to try this, but I didn’t find it an improvement. It’s a bigger, stiffer, whiskey, sweet enough but with a surprising amount of (too fresh) oak influence on the nose. There’s sherry power to burn on the palate, and I didn’t find it as spicy as described here. The finish is decent, but we ARE talking 57.4. There’s some complexity to be released with various additions of water but, overall, it’s not as well balanced/composed as the standard offering. Pot still fans shouldn’t go without the experience, but it’s a whiskey to be doctored.

  4. Collegiate

    I picked up a 2012 batch of the CS while in the states a few years ago. Hilariously it was only $3 more than the standard 12yo ($60). I am not much of an Irish fan, but that was a beauty of a whisky and a big step up from the basic 12yo. That said I have not made an attempt to pick up the newer batch at LC for $110. It’s a bit of a hard sell when I can buy the Laimrig 15 (that I love even more) for $10 extra. But if you are someone into more delicate flavoured whisky (I tend to go big and bold), then the RBCS is certainly worth picking up.

    1. Athena

      This is a flavourful, potent whisky that takes the addition of water very well and opens up beautifully.

      I like Laimrig too though the earlier versions were better (I think larger batches are the problem), but would be thoroughly disappointed if I had to choose only one between the two.

      They are very different styles and both have a legitimate place in my cabinet.

    2. Ol' Jas

      Collegiate, I had a very similar experience (except I live here in the US). At about the same time, my local specialist was selling the 12CS for maybe just ONE DOLLAR more than the standard 12 ($61 versus $60, maybe?). I jumped on it.

      It was good and I enjoyed it, but it didn’t blow my hair back or anything.

      Today the price I usually see is around $90, and it’s an easy no-go for me at that price. For $90, I’m looking for more—usually peat, for starters.

  5. David

    Came back to this one after some time. I echo my comments that I can’t taste as much as you can but over the 1 1/2 to 2 h I nosed and tasted it, it continued to open and develop. I’m so glad I have some put away. This is a fantastic batch and a great expression!

  6. Peter

    I absolutely love the spicy-fruity balance of Redbreast 12 whiskey (and also the richer experience of R15 for special occasions).


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