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Redbreast Irish Whiskey Unveils New Tawny Port Edition

Redbreast Irish Whiskey, produced by Irish Distillers at Midleton Distillery in Cork, Ireland, recently introduced Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition, a limited-edition single pot still Irish whiskey finished in tawny port casks from Portugal’s Douro Valley.

Created by Master Blender Billy Leighton and Blender Dave McCabe, Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is a single pot still Irish whiskey initially matured in a combination of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. A portion of these maturing whiskeys were recasked into tawny port casks for a number of years. All of the whiskeys were then blended and completed their maturation journey by marrying in freshly seasoned tawny port hogsheads for a final maturation period of 14-25 months.

The inspiration for Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition, it is said, started 12 years ago, when Leighton took a trip to the Douro Valley in Portugal to visit some of Midleton Distillery’s partner cooperages and winemakers.

Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition
Redbreast Irish Whiskey, produced by Irish Distillers, recently introduced Tawny Port Cask Edition, a limited-edition single pot still Irish whiskey finished in tawny port casks from Portugal’s Douro Valley. (image via Irish Distillers)

“We were enjoying lunch with the late renowned winemaker Joaquim Anacleto and Gesprove Winemaker José Pinheiro overlooking the valley, discussing the various wines and spirits that had influenced our whiskeys,” said Leighton in a prepared statement. “And, being in the valley, we began to imagine how Tawny Port’s intricate flavor profile could affect our whiskies. Curiosity took hold, and we decided to make this daydream a reality – and we are quite pleased with the impeccable result.”

The result Leighton mentions for official tasting notes is “a rich, well-balanced whiskey with notes of praline, buttery baked goods, and dried cherries from the earlier tawny port influence, followed by a warming sweetness of toasted caramel and vanilla carried through from the bourbon and an added depth of dried fruits from the sherry. The final maturation period in newly procured tawny port casks elevates the nutty character further and provides a sweet finish for a rich, full-bodied whiskey.”

“Redbreast Tawny Port Edition’s flavor profile is well within our flock’s DNA, yet it provides an exciting twist from another part of the Iberian Peninsula,” added McCabe. “Each subsequent expression in the series will represent a new discovery from this rich region which to date has greatly influenced the Redbreast style over the course of its history.”

Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition marks the third release of the brand’s Iberian Series. The series is inspired by Redbreast’s long-standing connection to some of the Iberian Peninsula’s cooperages and winemakers, and combines the heritage and craft of the region with Midleton Distillery’s single pot still whiskeys. This whiskey is the second limited edition to join the series, following the 2021 release Redbreast Pedro Ximénez Edition, and permanent expression and series anchor Redbreast Lustau Edition.

Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is bottled at 46% ABV and is available in the USA for $99.99.

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder 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 provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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