First came the original Redbreast 12 Year Old—mellow, floral, chill filtered, and bottled at 80 proof. Then we saw the reintroduction of the once-elusive non-chill filtered 92-proof Redbreast 15 Year Old. Now comes Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength, the latest offering from this cult favorite Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, the distiller’s first cask-strength expression in modern times.
Bottled at 115.4 proof and non-chill filtered, Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength ($90) offers a tasting opportunity that few outside the distillery’s warehouses get to experience. What’s more, it combines the best of the other two Redbreast offerings, with the same sherry and bourbon barrel ratio of whiskeys of the 80-proof Redbreast 12 Year Old while retaining the non-chill filtered natural taste of the 15 Year Old, but amplified by full-flavored, straight-from-the-cask characteristics.
Made from a unique mash of malted and unmalted barley and then triple distilled in traditional copper pot stills, the result is a whiskey full of ripe figs and dried fruit laced with butterscotch and vanilla. Interestingly, in this cask-strength version of the Redbreast 12 Year Old, the sherry-barrel influences are much more pronounced. Only 68 barrels were used for this first batch, which is already available in Ireland, France, and Germany. However, Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength is scheduled for the United States beginning in February 2012, thus making it possible to share in the taste that master distiller Barry Crockett samples at the Midleton Distillery in County Cork. (www.singlepotstill.com)