We’re in the midst of a flight of Irish whiskey, having so far tasted the very surprising Jameson Caskmates (reviewed here) and the Redbreast 12 (reviewed here). The 15 year old is, in my opinion, the best of the age stated Redbreast expressions, and is much more harmonious than the 12. It was initially released as a limited edition, and was later added to the regular core range.
This expression is made of whiskey matured in both Oloroso sherry and bourbon casks, in an unspecified ratio. The 15 year old is presented at 46% and is non chill filtered. As I mentioned while reviewing the 12 year old, there is a lot of craftsmanship (or should it be craftpersonship?) and skill that went into crafting these whiskeys, and I think this expression is the standout.
Midleton produces four styles of single (or pure) pot still whiskey: The full bodied Redbreast with distinct sherry influence; Midleton is a more delicate whiskey – with a very interesting experiment going on with Irish oak in the Dair Ghaleach series of which I tasted whiskey from tree 9; The Spots – Yellow and Green – highlight fruity and vegetal notes; and the Powers range is supposed to highlight spice. I have not yet had the opportunity to taste any of the Powers.
Redbreast 15 Year Old (46% ABV, NCF)
Appearance: Copper, slow legs with a lot of residue.
Nose: Far gentler than the 12, much less of the bourbon like nose, less “Irish”. There’s dried fruit, honey, some acetone very far in the background with some mustiness, but overall this dram is far more harmonious.
Palate: Much mustier than the nose, with a deeper sweetness. There’s dried fruit and light wood spice with a plastic like feel in the mouth, with hints of bourbon and pepper.
Linger: Sweet, with some bitterness on the back of the tongue. Slightly mouth drying, with a sweetness that comes out over a layer of spice.
This is a very harmonious dram, sweeter than the 12 year old and more balanced. If you don’t mind (or even like) the mustiness brought on by the triple distillation, you’ll absolutely love this whiskey.