Redbreast 15 Year Old Single Pot Still Tasting Notes

November 22, 2021

Redbreast 15 Year Old

Midleton Distillery

Single Pot Still



Tasting note compiled by Mark McLaughlin (@mark_rye)



If you’re a fan of Stories & Sips, chances are that you’ve crossed paths with a number of the Redbreast range on your journey of Irish Whiskey discovery. Redbreast originated as one of the great Bonders brands. Created by W.A Gilbey who originally bought whiskey from the Jameson Distillery in Bow Street and Dublin with their own bottlings becoming known as Redbreast from 1912 onwards. After the closure of the Jameson Distillery in the early 1970’s Gilbey’s no longer had the supply of stocks for their Redbreast brand, and possibly lacked the demand to keep it going, so the brand was sold to Irish Distillers in 1986. Since then we’ve seen a long slow rejuvenation of the brand with the 12 year old now arguably considered the quintessential Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey.

Redbreast 15 year old first appeared as a limited bottling for La Maison du Whisky in France in 2005 before becoming part of the core Redbreast offering. It’s said to made up of component whiskeys of between 15-19 years old matured in a selection of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. Sometimes described as the richer, stronger brother of Redbreast 12.


Vibrant amber with a slightly red hue, oil and viscous in the glass


Nose (Aromas)

Rich and full, with signature Redbreast spice notes, it has great depth, there’s an oily characteristic followed by an abundance of orchard fruits. With more time, orange zest begins to blossom with a hint of apricot and a warming roasted walnuts.


Palate & Finish 

Just outstandingly textural, depths of rich sultana, brandy soaked fruit cake, orange zests, candied apricots and juicy berry fruits. The spice notes are distinctly pot still, which is something that’s hard to describe but you’ll know it when it hits you. The balance is clear with notes of chocolate and spice pulling the fruits together on the palate create layer upon layer of harmonious flavour.



As far as I’m concerned, this is a masterpiece. The credit goes to Billy Leighton, Master Blender at Midleton Distillery, for creating a whiskey which stands so far apart from the other Redbreasts with its own signature style, body and texture, it adds so much to the range. I’m aware sometimes this whiskey divides judgement but in my personal opinion it’s one of Irish Whiskey’s true treasures.

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