Redbreast Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is a beloved brand by those who really love the Irish whiskey category. For those who are extreme fans there’s The Birdhouse, an online, private members’ club that gives its members access to insider Redbreast benefits. One of these is having first dibs at the now what seems to be annual Dream Cask release, a very special series of one off Redbreast bottlings. The 2019 variant has been announced, and for those who love Pedro Ximénez sherry cask aged whiskey, they are in for a treat.
The Redbreast Dream Cask Pedro Ximénez Edition, according to those behind it, “was created from a vatting of bourbon, Oloroso sherry and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks which has been re-casked and finished in a specially selected Pedro Ximénez cask.” It is a 20 year old expression (up to 33 years in age in the blend), and was created by Redbreast Master Blender, Billy Leighton, in collaboration with Redbreast Blender, Dave McCabe.
More specifically, it is made up of the following whiskeys, which represent a cross-section of single pot still distillate styles and maturation techniques:
- 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
“Rather than try to seek out another extraordinary cask from the Midleton inventory like the inaugural Redbreast Dream Cask,” said Leighton in a prepared statement, “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.”
Bottled at 52.2% ABV, plans call for just 924 bottles of this whiskey to be available to members of The Birdhouse on May 27th for €380, or around $425 USD. Sales of it, much like last year’s 32 year old Dream Cask, are likely to go pretty fast. If you decide to try and throw down for a bottle, make sure to take note of where Redbreast ships when you are buying it online – not all countries are listed unfortunately. If you aren’t able to secure a bottle that way, try watching some of the whisky auction sites in coming months – a few bottles will likely appear on the secondary market. As for official tasting notes, they are below from Redbreast for your consideration.
- Aroma: full rich aroma of liquorice and treacle toffee, giving cover to vanilla sweetness and a concentrate of caramelised dried fruits. Cinnamon and clove acknowledge the presence of the ex-bourbon influence whilst hazelnut and almond nuttiness adds to the complexity delivered by the fine old Pedro Ximénez Butt from Jerez
- Taste: A rich viscose mouthful of satisfyingly assertive spices combined with sweet ripe fruit. The liquorice notes slowly evolve to reveal those typical exotic fruits and berries which define the Redbreast style
- Finish: Rich and long with those familiar Redbreast berries, slow to fade
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...