Category Archives: Redbreast

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

Redbreast 12 y.o. Review

Redbreast 12 y.o.

40% abv

Score:  90/100


Another delicate and charming Irish pot still whisky.  This one kind of surprised me with just how unbelievably drinkable it was.  I mean almost too drinkable.  I could get in serious trouble with a whisky this smooth and palatable.

While I can’t say that I’m completely won over by Irish whisky, I do like quite a lot of it, but at the end of the day…it simply can’t hold a candle to my darling Scottish malts.   Or not often anyway.  I think this primarily has to do with the lightness of the spirit.  I’m a full flavor kinda guy.  I loves ‘em big and bold.

Someyimes though, you gotta concede good juice when you taste it, irrespective of whether or not it falls into your typical fare.  Case in point…Redbreast 12 year old.

The nose is bourbon-heavy, and smacks of a rye-like sweetness too.  Typical of many Irish whiskies, this is a fruit fiesta, led by big orange notes.  There is a beautiful balance to here with the sweeter notes meeting some warm creamy counters in the aromas of a morning bakery, oatmeal raisin cookie, warm suede, light spice and smooth vanilla.  Lemon pie too.

The palate is a perfect sum of its parts.  Here we have a veritable fruit basket in a glass.  Mouthwateringly full and absolutely engaging.  Fruity, warming and familiar, sweet and delicious.  It doesn’t overstay its welcome (whiskyspeak for ‘short finish’), but is entirely enjoyable while it does hang about.

Absolutely nothing to fault here.  Having said that…it’s also not spectacular.  Although at cask strength or maybe at 18-25 years old, I’d argue it could be absolutely magnificent.

Would love to try this stuff at cask strength.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

A Run At The Irish

Maltmonster sat down to a trio of young beauties a few nights back and graciously offered up his take on a few of Ireland’s underappreciated gems.  Buckle up…



It’s been said that whiskey was invented so the Irish wouldn’t rule the world, but who would want to live in a world without whiskey.  After all good health is merely the slowest rate at which one can die!

Knowing that I will never rule the world, I picked out three of my current favorite Irish whiskies for review.


EARTHBushmills 16 Year old, 40% ABV.  This is a single malt with a three wood influence; Bourbon, Oloroso and Port (A conscience does not prevent sin, it only prevents from enjoying it.).

Nose – Coco / coffee, raisins and almonds

Taste – Delicate sweetness, burnt toffee                        

Finish – Medium to long. Elegant

Assessment – First Irish malt whiskey I fell in love with. Always recommend this to others.


WATERRed Breast 12 Year old, 40 % ABV. Blended whiskey (A narrow neck keeps the bottle from being emptied in one swig.).

Nose – Apples, pears and succulent strawberries. Floral

Taste – Creamy vanilla. Complex and little spicy

Finish – Medium. Very balanced

Assessment – This is my 2nd favorite Irish blend. Good value considering the price is around $40-$50.


FIREJameson 2007 Rarest Vintage Reserve, 46 % ABV. Blended whiskey with older grain (23-24 years old) and malted and unmalted barley matured in bourbon and port casks (Lead me not into temptation as I can usually find it by myself.).

Nose – Sublime citrus notes, marshmallows. Fragrant

Taste – Layered cake. Elegant wine .Silky smooth.

Finish – Medium to long. . Brilliant stuff. Hats off to the blender on this one.

Assessment – Best Jameson I’ve ever had. Bit pricey, but worth it if you can afford it.