Red Breast Single Pot Still 12 Year Old | 40% abc (80 Proof), $44.99/bottle (BevMo for me or online)
Color/Appearance: A light golden amber in the glass. Nice look with Oloroso sherry barrel aging influencing the look. The bottle sort of stakes out a middle ground of traditional and slightly updated. Not that exciting of a look but that has no real influence on my opinion of this whiskey.
Nose: Amaretto, maple syrup, grape skins, Marcona almonds. Fresh cold pizza dough. So doughy and nutty.
Palate: That dough smell translates directly to the taste with a great thick oily mouthfeel. As if you are drinking that yeasty dough. Tastes a lot more pleasing than that description may sound. Dry woody notes of oak make for a rustic bread baked fresh in your mouth. Nice pastoral feel here. Ireland in a glass. Easygoing, very pleasing. Barley is the star here. Rather elegant in its simplicity.
Finish: Spicy lingering finish. Baking spice in simple bread, not jumping out at you but perfectly in harmony.
Overall: My impressions of this changed a lot as I continued to move through this bottle. Being my first quality Irish whisky I was not sure what to expect. Right away I knew it was a quality expression with memories of Jameson shots coming back to me. This had some of that distinctive flavor but so much more pleasing. So I knew I liked it but as I gained more perspective on the bottle I came to truly understand why Redbreast is so highly regarded. This is comforting whisky. Not over-engineered, not relying on some exotic finish or extreme flavor components. Can’t wait to try the cask-strength, 15 year or in my dreams the new 21 year. If you are looking to expand your palate to include some seriously quality Irish whisky this is obviously where you should begin.