Redbreast 12

After the Green Spot, we were given a tasting of the Redbreast 12. The Redbreast 12 is produced at the Midleton distillery, Ireland’s largest distilling complex. The name comes from the fact that Gilbey’s, a wine merchant, would age the whiskey in their empty casks. When mature, the whiskey looked a sort of brownish red, like a robin’s breast, hence the name.

The whiskey, bottled at an even 40% abv is now matured in sherry casks and aged 12 years.

During the tasting, I indicated that the nose reminded me of vanilla and banana, sweet cinnamon, and caramel topping.

The palate was exquisite, balancing nuts, dried fruit, ginger, and sherry. I found the consistency was oily, but pleasant.

The finish was long and strong in oak, leather, smoke, coffee, and tobacco. Quite sophisticated.

Overall, this is a fine whiskey and a delight to taste. I would definitely recommend a bottle for your collection. Some folks at our tasting thought there was some liquorice in there, but I didn’t catch that quality.

I would consider this to be a reasonable purchase given the quality of the whiskey at the price of $65 in Quebec at the SAQ, $62 in Ontario at the LCBO, and $64 in New Hampshire.



Jameson 18

Next in our series of Irish whiskey tastings came the Jameson 18. Jameson is produced at the Midleton distillery in Southern Ireland. This is the most popular brand of Irish whiskey, easily found in establishments all over the world. This expression of the Jameson, a brand not known by this reviewer for outstanding quality, features a disappointing 40% abv. I would have expected something a bit higher at this level of premium positioning.

My tasting notes describe the nose as being light with jam and dried herbs accentuating a grainy introduction.

On the palate, I deciphered sweet fruits mixed with spices, roasted nut, and a hint of mint at the very end.

The finish left me with grapefruit and a certain sensation that I struggled to identify. Almost like jalapeƱo with black pepper.

Overall, a zesty whiskey that feels quite juicy. I heard some people say it was oily and thick, but I wasn’t able to detect those qualities in this entry to Jameson’s line of whiskies. I think it’s worth a try, but I would have trouble calling this a regular dram. At the price of $120 in Quebec, $110 in Ontario, and $114 in New Hampshire, I know you have better options for your money.