And we’re back at Dingle Whiskey Bar.
I mean, we already were there for the last review, but we’re here again because they have a whiskey I’d like to try. A specific one this time, not just “a third their stock”, like usual.
Redbreast 1999 All Sherry Single Cask (cask #30088) is an interesting duck. Let’s not do the duck joke again though.
Single Casks of Redbreast are quite rare. Based on talking to one of the workers at The Celtic whiskey shop, where this specific bottle is an exclusive, La Maison du Whisky has received a few, and Whiskey Exchange has received some. And now, for the first time ever, Ireland has received one.
Man, everyone’s a dick to the Irish, even the Irish.
Joking aside, I was informed that there was some back and forth whether this should have been cask strength, with Midleton (who make Redbreast and didn’t just jump onto the call for the lols) wanting it to be at a lower strength, and the whiskey nerds at the shop doing what we’d all want, and asking for it at cask strength.
And after the smoke cleared (some guy vaped), the shop got their way. So now we have a 17 year old cask strength fully matured in sherry Redbreast.
Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Cask Type: Fresh Sherry casks
Bottle Number: 111 of 534
Date Distilled: April 1999
Age: 17 years
Colour: 7.5YR 3/6
Nose: Treacle, plum, allspice, cereal, chestnut, butter, caramel cake, carrot cake, orange scone, embers
Big nose here. Lots to take in. If I said “a whole bunch of Xmas’ from when people still baked” then you’d be confused if I was talking about stoners or not. No, I’m talking about some Rockwell 50’s Xmas where the women were baking.
And no, I’m not glamorizing the 50s, they sucked unless you were white, middle class and male, and lead to an entire generation of screw ups who are in charge today.
This has a lot of winter spices, tons of caramel/molasses notes that are well developed, tons of cake notes, and overall the right amount of orange and spice.
Taste: Pine, caramel, currant, carrot cake, cream cheese icing, wood, peach
More subdued then you’d expect. Almost youthful at first, I ended up adding a decent amount of water to this dram.
So I guess those guys who make whiskey for a profession were right. Oops.
Not as mind blowing as the nose, but still really nice if you like carrot cake.
Finish: Caramel, cinnamon, mushroom, wood, honey, dry yeast, flapjacks, peanut, malt
Finish is really dry with lots and lots of umami. It kinda doesn’t work. Or… well…
Okay, so the initial flavour is caramel, spice, and mushroom. That didn’t work. But the later flapjack mix with the umami and peanut/honey notes did.
It’s like it’s trying to go from sweet to savoury and ends up clocking it’s grandma in the face instead.
Conclusion: This is an interesting malt, and I jumped around a lot on my final score. At the end of the day, I think I enjoyed it more than the 15 year, and feel this had the big bombastic flavours I’d want. However I was dogged by the price on it, which made my initial score lower, and then I revisited it to make sure.
The nose is really nice. The finish is long, but not great, but still has lots of big flavours (for better or for worse). The taste needs water. The finish needed it too. It’s the one time where watering it down to 50% is something I’d side with.
Not lower though.
It’s a strong whiskey, a good Irish whiskey, and an interesting use of what I presume was an Oloroso sherry cask (which I’m not usually the biggest fan of). I think it could have been tweaked though.
World Whiskey review #231, Ireland reviews #49, Whiskey Network reviews #1050