For those who don't know, Redbreast Irish Whiskey is produced by Irish Distillers in the Midleton Distillery, in Cork. It is one of their premium ranges, and one that wins an abundance of awards around the world consistency, year in, year out. It also happens to be one of my favourite Irish Whiskey ranges. This World Whiskey Day we're celebrating it.
To mark World Whisky Day 2019, they have released Redbreast Dream Cask Pedro Ximénez Edition. This will be exclusively available to buy through the Redbreast online membership site – The Birdhouse – from the evening of May 18th.
This exclusive and exciting Irish Whiskey has been created by Master Blender, Billy Leighton, in collaboration with Blender, Dave McCabe. It has been made by vatting, or marrying if that’s your chosen terminology – whereby casks are blended together and allowed to ‘marry’ the flavours together until the resultant whiskey is harmonious, balanced and better than the sum of its parts. For the Redbreast Dream Cask Pedro Ximénez Edition, the whiskies vatted ranged from 20 Year Old whiskey to 33 Year Old whiskey. Three types of cask – bourbon, Oloroso sherry and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks which was then re-casked and finished in another Pedro Ximénez cask. The perfect malt to celebrate World Whiskey Day.
Irish Distillers and Redbreast Blenders Dave McCabe and Billy Leighton
I was fortunate to be sent a press preview sample for World Whiskey Day (thanks IDL!). My notes on the Redbreast Dream Cask Pedro Ximénez Edition were as follows
On the nose I was getting waves of sweet molten toffee, and the syrupy thickness conjures up in your mind. There were lovely notes of raisins, winter berries and feint cinnamon and muted spice notes. There was also a slight nuttiness, but overall just a superb, indulgent nose that I could have spent ages with.
The palate was wonderfully rich, as thick as the nose suggested it would be. Lovely spices intertwine magically with the broad spectrum of fruit notes from fresh berries to pineapple, kiwi and dragonfruit. not to mention those sweet sherry notes PX brings to the table. Indulgent, impressive, or incredible.
In case you’re intrigued by the casks, like I obviously was, the component parts of the Redbreast Dream Cask Pedro Ximénez Edition, bottled at 52.2% ABV with only 924 bottles available, are:
Cask 1 – a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1998, matured in an ex-bourbon barrel and re-casked into a Pedro Ximénez sherry butt in 2012
Cask 2 – a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1995, matured in an ex-bourbon cask and re-casked into an Oloroso sherry butt in 2012
Cask 3 – a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1985 and matured in a second-fill ex-bourbon barrel
Cask 4 – a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1997 and matured in a second-fill ex-bourbon barrel
Billy Leighton, creator of the Redbreast Dream Cask Pedro Ximénez Edition had this to say
“Rather than try to seek out another extraordinary cask from the Midleton inventory like the inaugural Redbreast Dream Cask, we set out to create a new Redbreast Irish whiskey like you have never tasted before. The coming together of three exceptional casks, originally destined for Redbreast 21, and a rare Pedro Ximénez butt is a first for Midleton, and the careful balance of sweet, spice and sherry flavours offers a new and complex take on the classic Redbreast Christmas cake flavour profile – it’s sure to add an extra cheer to your World Whisky Day celebrations this year!”Billy Leighton, Redbreast Master Blender