The Launch of Redbreast Small Batch Irish Whiskey
Boston is the home of all things American-Irish, and it also happens to be (unsurprisingly), one of the largest markets for Redbreast Irish Whiskey.
Redbreast has been growing steadily in the United States and in 2018 reported growth of 20% year on year. The United States is a fragmented market when it comes to availability of Irish whiskey. In some states, like Ohio, we are fortunate to have the full Redbreast range available.
For a long time, however, Redbreast fans stateside have had to look across the Atlantic with a mixture of jealousy, sadness and rage at Redbreast releases that have only been available to the Irish or European consumer – much-celebrated releases like Redbreast Dream Cask and Single Cask expressions have eluded the American market.
That all changed this week, when Midleton Master Blender Billy Leighton and Assistant Blender Dave McCabe winged their way (see what I did there?) to Boston to announce the launch of a special range of Redbreast Irish whiskeys solely for the American market. This release is being touted as a celebration of the growth of Redbreast in the U.S. and a reward for the patient and loyal Redbreast consumers across the country.
I spent a few days in Boston catching up with the blenders, learning about this new release and sampling each expression. Watch this episode of Stories & Sips to find out more and you’ll find all the tasting notes and details of the range beneath the video on this page.
If you have questions, shoot me a message.
Batch A – 58.6% ABV
Nose: Initial notes of sweet vanilla, with a rich oak contribution of wood shavings, resin and spices. Delicate fruit tones with the Pot Still spices building over time adding balance to the rich bourbon and sherry influences.
Taste: Leading with a spicy character that subsides to reveal a rich mouth coating texture, typical of the Pot Still character of the distillate. The oak develops with vanilla evolving over time that gives the delicate citrus fruit notes additional sweet overtones that remain continuously in the background.
Finish: The Pot Still spices delicately subside, while the fruit character lingers in tandem with the oak tannins until the very end.
Batch B – 57.2% ABV
Nose: Rich in dried fruit that builds over time, with hints of dark chocolate and coffee. The sherry cask contribution adds a depth and intensity that brings out an element of nuttiness, while soft waves of honey and confectionary sweetness come from the toasted oak, complementing the Pot Still spices.
Taste: Rich in tannins, with hints of bitter chocolate, while the fruit element continues to build up over time with mild Pot Still spices delivering additional layers of flavour in the background.
Finish: Long and rich, the delicate spices quickly fade allowing the sweet fruit character to linger on top of a solid oak foundation.
Batch C – 59.1% ABV
Nose: Delicate hints of zest and exotic fruit notes with a mild sweet cereal character, layered over chocolate fudge notes and hazelnut. The Pot Still spices are rich and continue to develop over time, adding further depth and complexity.
Taste: Robust spices with a delicate zest element lingering in the background. Tannins develop over time along with roasted coffee beans and bitter chocolate with the barley adding a sweet cereal contribution in the background.
Finish: The spices fade leaving a residual sweetness and toasted oak finish that lingers until the very end.
Batch D – 58.9% ABV
Nose: Initial sweet notes of raisins and figs, typical of the Oloroso sherry casks with additional herbal notes of thyme and rosemary. The years spent in oak is quite evident, with rich toasted wood notes and vanilla, while remaining in balance with the Pot Still spices.
Taste: Mouth coating with a rich texture, mild nuttiness and dried fruit character. The tannins evolve adding a slightly dry note along with berry fruits and dark chocolate.
Finish: Long and lingering with the oak contribution continuing to evolve, while the Pot Still spices subside allowing the fried fruit notes to remain until the very end.