Latest Redbreast Irish Whiskey Dream Cask Fully Finished In A Single Port Cask

The Redbreast Irish Whiskey brand, over the last couple of years, has had an annual Dream Cask limited edition offering made available to members of its The Birdhouse private online club one joins through its website. These previous releases have been stunning in consideration of what they are, including last year’s 20 year old finished in a specially selected Pedro Ximénez sherry cask. Now, for 2020, the Dream Cask is back, once again promising to be an intriguing pour.

The new Redbreast Dream Cask Ruby Port Edition, according to those behind it, is the first Redbreast expression to be fully finished in a single port cask. It is a fine tuning of the Redbreast 27 Year Old, released earlier this year as the brand’s oldest permanent expression. For this Dream Cask, it is said that during trials for the 27 year that the distillery team at Midleton (where Redbreast is produced) “discovered a liquid worthy of the Dream Cask name which uniquely comprises both a ruby port cask component and finish.

Redbreast Dream Cask Ruby Port Edition

Redbreast Dream Cask Ruby Port Edition (image via Irish Distillers)

“Created by Master Blender Billy Leighton, in collaboration with Blender Dave McCabe, Redbreast Dream Cask Ruby Port Edition is the culmination of four extraordinary whiskey journeys dating back more than 30 years, which were set aside during the crafting of Redbreast 27 Year Old.

“Aged for a minimum of 28 years in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels, an oloroso sherry butt and a ruby port seasoned cask, these exceptional liquids were then married in the ruby port cask to mature further as a single Dream Cask.”

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“It’s more than three decades since my predecessors went to the Douro Valley and hand selected the cask which would become Redbreast Dream Cask 2020,” said Leighton in a prepared statement. “I’m delighted to be able to share its creation with whiskey lovers around the world. 

“Our third Dream Cask was created with a very significant fortified wine component. This imparts a unique balance of flavors, with less vanilla sweetness and more fleshy fruits that are associated with port.”

“Because a Dream Cask is not constrained by volume,” added McCable, “we have great license to select a unique expression with a bold flavor which couldn’t be replicated in a permanent offering. Thankfully, Billy and I were in absolute agreement that this was the right time to release this year’s Dream Cask.”

Specifics on the four component whiskeys Redbreast used indicate they were aged for a minimum of 28 years and then vatted together and left to marry in the ruby port pipe cask. These include:

  • Cask 1- a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1989, matured in an ex-bourbon barrel and re-casked into a ruby port cask in 1995.
  • Cask 2- a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1991, matured in a second-fill ex-bourbon barrel.
  • Cask 3- a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1991, matured in a second-fill ex-bourbon barrel.
  • Cask 4- a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1991, matured in an ex-bourbon barrel and re-casked into a sherry butt in 2011.

Redbreast Dream Cask Ruby Port Edition is bottled at 51.5% ABV and prices at €490, or around $535 USD. As mentioned previously, it will be available exclusively through an online ballot hosted on Redbreast’s private members’ club, The Birdhouse. The ballot will be live from 15:00 (GMT+1) on Monday, May 25th  until 14:59 (GMT +1) on June 2nd, when successful participants will be given an opportunity to purchase a 500ml bottle.

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Official tasting notes for this Irish whiskey are as follows.

  • Nose: Initially abundant with herbs and spices, some lighter notes of rosemary and garden mint combining with cedar and red peppers. Some zesty citrus notes develop into a rich compote of ripe fleshy fruit, melon, kiwi and black cherry on top of marcona almonds. The spicy sweetness of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg acknowledge the contribution of the oak cask.
  • Taste: A very rich silky mouthful of assertive spices combined with sweet ripe plums. Dark chocolate and cinnamon notes slowly reveal a luxurious layer of ripe dark fruits which combine with raisins, sultanas and exotic fruits and berries which are typical of the Redbreast style.
  • Finish: The signature Redbreast mix of fruit and spice is slow to fade.