Redbreast, the favored single pot still whiskey made at New Midleton Distillery, has unveiled its first-ever single barrel offering, Redbreast Single Cask. Available globally from this month, the expression is meant to expand on Irish Distillers’ commitment to rejuvenating the quintessential Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey style.
Redbreast Single Cask reportedly takes Redbreast’s full-bodied flavor profile, noted for its signature Christmas cake character, which in turn is 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 ($260), 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 flavor character that is inimitable; Redbreast Single Cask #30087 was selected by Leighton and The Whisky Exchange team from a choice of two Redbreast single barrel samples in March 2015, and bottled without chill filtration at 59.9% ABV.
Also, the latest Midleton Single Pot Still single cask release, Cask #48735, is available alongside the new Redbreast Single Cask and also exclusively through The Whisky Exchange. This Midleton Single Pot Still single cask has an RRP of £245 ($350). 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.
Billy Leighton, Head Blender at the Midleton Distillery, comments: “Cask #30087 [source of Redbreast Single Cask] 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.”
Regarded by most experts 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.