Brand Introduction: Redbreast
What is Redbreast?
Redbreast is an Irish Whiskey owned by Irish Distillers Ltd (IDL), the largest whiskey producer in Ireland.
The brand name 'Redbreast' only officially appears in August 1912, sold as the Redbreast J.J Liqueur Whiskey 12 Years Old.
The name Redbreast is a reference to the bird, Robin Redbreast and was named by the then Chairman of Gilbey's who was an avid bird-fancier.
Information obtained from the official Redbreast site
Origins of Redbreast
W & A Gilbey, 1857
The company that started the original Redbreast was called W & A Gilbey, founded in 1857 in London. They were successful from the start and grew rapidly. By 1875, Gilbey's held the largest stock of Irish Whiskeys outside of the distilleries themselves!
In the early 1900s, Gilbey's whiskey brands included Castle Grand JJ Six Years Old and Castle Liqueur JJ Ten Years Old (JJ stands for John Jameson).
It is only at August 1912 when Gilbeys sold the "Redbreast" J.J Liqueuer Whiskey 12 Years Old and described it as one of their famous brands which suggests that "Redbreast" may have been the nickname of the Gilbey's Castle "JJ Liqueur" Whiskey 12 Years Old.
The last batch of Redbreast under the Gilbey's banner was bottled in 1985 after which the brand name was sold to Irish Distillers.
After an absence of 10 years in December 1991, the Redbreast of today finally resurfaced- re-introduced by Irish Distillers Limited.
Redbreast of today
Today, Redbreast is a world renowned Irish Whiskey brand with many releases and unique iterations of their whiskey.
Despite the many years that have passed, Redbreast still stayed true to its century old Irish Pot Still whiskey making tradition.
Redbreast is proudly considered the definitive expression of the Single Pot Still Whiskey art.
In the sections below, we share some of our favorite Redbreast bottlings and their tasting notes!
Redbreast 12 YO Cask Strength
When talking about Redbreast, we cannot gloss over the 12 Year Old Cask Strength. Being a Cask Strength whiskey, this bottle perfectly encompasses the Redbreast 12 in its natural, full flavored taste!
As quoted from the official Redbreast site, here are some details on the Redbreast 12 Cask Strength:
Made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley and then triple distilled in copper pot stills, Redbreast 12 boasts the flavour complexity and distinctive qualities of Pot Still whiskey. Matured in a combination of Bourbon seasoned American Oak barrels and Oloroso Sherry seasoned Spanish oak butts, the distinctive Redbreast sherry style is a joy to behold in each and every bottle.
Nose: Succulent exotic fruit with a little citrus, complementing deeper notes of dried apricot and sultana. Infusion of assorted spices and toasted wood.
Taste: Rich, fully rounded and mellow with luscious fruit and spices. Sweetness of vanilla and a touch of oak.
Finish: Satisfyingly long with the sophisticated combination of fruit and spices slowly giving way to toasted oak, then barley.
Redbreast 21 YO
Nose: Remarkable aroma spanning fresh tropical fruits, nuts and rich dried fruit.
Taste: Soft vanilla, toasted oak, sherry nuttiness with a dusting of spices. Luscious fleshy fruit notes complete the silky mouthfeel.
Finish: Lingers, seemingly forever, with oak and an assortment of spices and then, the final bow from barley – where it all began.
Redbreast 27 Batch No.2
For those that are truly appreciators of Irish Whiskeys and would want to try an even older bottling, we recommend the Redbreast 27 Year Old!
This is the oldest permanent release in the Redbreast range. This bottle comprises exclusively of Pot Still whiskeys which have been triple distilled, matured in the finest bourbon, sherry and ruby port casks for no less than 27 years, and left untouched.
Nose: A succulent medley of exotic fruits, mango, pineapple, blood orange and ripe red berries are complemented by fresh herbs, aromatic oils and wood spices. Vanilla sweetness and treacle toffee add to the richness, while walnuts and toasted oak acknowledge the contribution from a supreme cask selection.
Taste: Incredibly rich in texture with a luxuriously fruity introduction. Ripe red fleshed plums, black cherries and summer berries are balanced by the prickle of a hint of chili oil. The taste evolves as cherry menthol introduces vanilla and cinnamon sweet spices combined with red pepper, nutmeg and toasted oak for an intriguing complexity.
Finish: A satisfyingly long balance of ripe fruit and wood spices, worthy of a journey of nearly three decades.