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Redbreast Ten Year Old Irish Whiskey

By Craig Ellis
Author Bio: Craig's love for all things whiskey began when he visited his first distillery, Talisker in 2006. During his free time, he likes to visit distilleries around the globe, planning his travel around these locations. Craig created The Pot Still in 2016 when he first started to collect rare and unusual whiskeys. His whiskey collection has grown and grown since. Craig writes and reviews independently and is not commissioned by any brand or distillery. Craig's views and opinions are his own.
Redbreast Ten Year Old Irish Whiskey

Redbreast Ten Year Old Irish Whiskey celebrates 30 years since Irish Distillers resurrected the Redbreast Irish Whiskey brand in back in 1991.

This is a younger expression of the much loved and multi award winning Redbreast 12 Irish Whiskey, which is produced by down in Midleton, Co.Cork by Irish Distillers. Irish Distillers has re-launched the Redbreast 10 Year Old, which is resurgence of Gilbey’s historic expression, last produced half a century ago. This is a limited edition release with rumours of 7,000 bottles in Batch No.1. The release symbolises the resurrection of Redbreast Irish Whiskey and solidifies the continuous revival of single pot still Irish whiskey on the world stage.

W.A Gilbey's were a wine and spirits merchant operating in Dublin at the turn of the 20th century, and Redbreast 10 Year Old pays tribute to their historic expression. As importers, Gilbey’s had a large supply of sherry casks in their warehouse and would source their distillate exclusively from the nearby Jameson Distillery to mature in their casks. This special bottling of Redbreast 10 Year Old has been reimagined for a contemporary audience, signifying the ongoing renaissance of single pot still Irish whiskey.

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This re-launched whiskey is comprised of three distillates, ranging from 10 to 15 years in age, matured in both American oak ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso sherry seasoned butts from Spain. A truly special offering, the inclusion of a rare, more traditional style of single pot still distillate which is usually reserved for older age-statement whiskeys in the Redbreast range pays tribute to the historic expression last produced in the 1970s. A significant contribution from the sherry butts references the prominent use of fortified wine casks in whiskey bonding throughout Ireland in the 1960s. Evoking the quality and craftmanship of Redbreast Irish Whiskey, this expression brings together rich and fruity flavours from across the world while paying homage to bonding, a tradition embedded in Ireland’s whiskey history.

What stood out most for me was the distinctive packaging of Redbreast 10-Year-Old. It has been designed with tradition in mind, featuring a timeline of significant dates in the brand’s history on the side. The label, an outlier within the current Redbreast Irish Whiskey family and reminiscent of the original white label and red seal from the historic Gilbey’s 10-Year-Old. 

The whiskey itself is bottled at cask strength, at an ABV of 59.1%, Redbreast 10-Year-Old will retail at €100. The expression was released exclusively via The Birdhouse, Redbreast’s online membership platform, as a reward for loyal Redbreast fans whose dedication is driving the brand’s success as the most decorated single pot still Irish whiskey in the world.

On the launch of Redbreast 10-Year-Old, Master Blender, Billy Leighton comments:

“This release rejoices the longstanding history of Redbreast Irish Whiskey and celebrates the distinctive qualities which Redbreast is known for globally. Redbreast 10-Year-Old offers a unique, rich flavour profile with notes of tropical and dried fruit, which gives way to a balance of richness from the inclusion of sherry casks. I am delighted to share this release with whiskey advocates and Redbreast fans across the globe.” - Master Blender, Billy Leighton

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Tasting Notes: Redbreast 10 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Nose: Intense aromatics of honeycomb and cedarwood with earthy notes, dried tobacco leaf and worn leather. Dark fruits linger in the background and slowly develop overtime along with toasted almonds and demerara sugar, while a pot still spice intensity continues to build, adding to the complexity of flavours layered over a strong foundation of oak.

Palate: Rich in tannins that work in tandem with the inclusion of traditional pot still distillate creating balance between oak and spirit. The oloroso wine casks emerge to contribute marzipan and fig along with subtle hints of mixed berry compote, while delicate touches of vanilla and treacle are found lingering in the background.

Finish: The pot still spices rise to a crescendo and then finally give way to the toasted oak and delicate sweetness that lingers until the very end.

Tags: Irish Whiskey, Midleton, Redbreast

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