Monday, 29 February 2016

Redbreast Single Cask 1999

The Whisky Exchange, a London (and online) retailer of fine spirits, has bagged itself an exclusive single (sherry) cask Redbreast pot still whiskey. I refer you to their own blog for the full story and detailed tasting notes. The basic stats: 59.9% ABV, 16 years old, 576 bottles, £180.

When I heard about it, I was a little wary. I've tried plenty of whiskeys that tasted more like sherry than whiskey, including a cask sample or two from the Midleton distillery. I tend to eschew a whiskey where one element is too loud in the mix but, for some, such "sherry bombs" are a treat to be relished.

A small sample fell through the letterbox on Friday, which I've just poured...

It's a big whiskey. The sherry-seasoned wood and pot still spirit have clearly been duking it out for 16 years in the cask, but neither has managed to gain the upper hand. They have both bulked up in the process though and are now delivering huge punches of prunes, raisins, liquorice, spices... It's all there, amped up, but still remarkably balanced.

I thoroughly enjoyed being whacked around the chops by this heavyweight tag team. It's unlike anything else on my (mostly Irish) shelf, which includes several other members of the Redbreast family. If you're a Redbreast fan, and cool with cask strength whiskey, you've got to love this.