Redbreast, the most decorated Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey in the world, has unveiled its first ever single barrel offering, Redbreast Single Cask. Available globally from this month, the expression reinforces Irish Distillers’ commitment to rejuvenating the quintessential Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey style.
Redbreast Single Cask offers a unique take on Redbreast’s full bodied flavour profile, renowned for its signature Christmas cake character – the result of a strong contribution from Oloroso sherry casks. With just 576 bottles available exclusively through The Whisky Exchange at the recommend selling price of £180, the rare expression is expected to become highly sought after by Irish Whiskey connoisseurs and collectors.
Barrel #30087, the butt that matured Redbreast Single Cask, was crafted in late 1996 at the Antonio Paez Lobato Cooperage in Southern Spain near Jerez, the world’s sherry capital. The cask was then toasted and seasoned with Oloroso sherry for two years at the Páez Morilla Bodega until early 1999, when the cask was shipped to the Midleton Distillery in County Cork, filled with Single Pot Still Irish distillate and laid in warehouse M15A until August 2015 – 16 years and 147 days later.
Only a handful of single casks are selected and bottled at Midleton each year, a process that is overseen by Head Blender Billy Leighton who takes pride in individually nosing each cask to make sure it is at the peak of maturation. Each single cask possesses its own unique flavour character that is inimitable; Redbreast Single Cask #30087 is bottled without chill filtration at 59.9% ABV and offers classic pot still spices with fruit and almond notes, a hint of vanilla and a balanced finish. Cask #30087 was selected by Leighton and The Whisky Exchange team from a choice of two Redbreast single barrel samples in March 2015.
The latest Midleton Single Pot Still single cask release, Cask #48735, is available alongside Redbreast Single Cask exclusively through The Whisky Exchange at the RRP of £245. Crafted in the true Midleton style of ex-Bourbon cask maturation, the individual American oak barrel was laid down in early 1991 and has yielded just 186 bottles at 55.2% ABV. This highly collectable bottling offers typical aromatic notes of oil and spices, a palate of ripe fruits and a rich succulent finish.
Billy Leighton, Head Blender at the Midleton Distillery, comments: “Redbreast Irish Whiskey holds a special place in the hearts of Irish Whiskey fans, due to its full-flavoured taste profile and its iconic history as the definitive Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Being able to introduce the world to Redbreast Single Cask is very exciting, as it celebrates the heart of what connoisseurs love about the brand; its exceptional ex-Sherry cask contribution, our relationship with the Spanish bodegas and respect for the craftsmanship throughout the production process. Cask #30087 offers a unique tasting experience, with rich notes of dried fruit, a velvety smooth coffee and vanilla taste with a balanced finish that can never be reproduced, so I hope Irish Whiskey fans will enjoy savouring each sip of this newest addition to the Redbreast family.”
Brendan Buckley, Global Innovation & Whiskey Portfolio Director at Irish Distillers, adds: “The premiumisation and diversification of Irish Whiskey is one of the category’s most exciting trends as it shows great potential for continued growth, particularly in the super-premium and above sector. We are proud to have led the revival of Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey and will continue to raise awareness of this quintessential style, and Irish Whiskey in general, to educate whiskey fans about the breadth and quality that the category has to offer.
“Following the great success last year for Redbreast Mano a Lámh, which is now sold out, we are confident that Redbreast Single Cask offers a new and interesting interpretation and experience that will quench the thirst for innovation and choice in whiskey among Redbreast fans, Irish Whiskey drinkers and spirits aficionados alike. We are committed to whiskey innovation and look forward to more new releases for whiskey fans to enjoy over the coming year.”
Regarded as the definitive expression of traditional Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, Redbreast dates back to 1903 when Jameson entered into an agreement with the Gilbeys Wines & Spirits Import Company to supply them with new make spirit from their Bow St. Distillery for maturation under bond.