Price Point: $45 – $55 for 750 ML
I was recently having dinner at a country club (no, I’m not a member; it was a work function). Before dinner, a few of us went to the bar and ordered drinks. They had a decent whiskey selection, considering most bars in the area end their variety at Jack and Jameson. This bar had Woodford Reserve, Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, and even Lagavulin 16 Year Old, among others.
I happened to spot a dark bottle with a tan label way in the back. It was Redbreast 12 Year Old. Despite my love for single malt Scotches and all their complexities, I found myself ordering the Redbreast. If that doesn’t speak volumes for the quality of this Irish whiskey, I’m not sure what will.
The nose on Redbreast 12 Year Old starts out creamy, and much smoother than most Irish whiskeys. It’s a very delicate nose, with faint cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s grainy, but in a pleasant way. This is the best Irish when it comes to the nose, although the most interesting belongs to Connemara.
I would liken this to drinking the big brother, “grown-up” version of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Even the texture is smooth and creamy. Redbreast 12 Year Old is unmistakable as an Irish yet very subtle and refined. It’s tasty on the tip of your tongue, but a little dull everywhere else.
The finish is brief, but very pleasant.
Rating & Recommendations
This is the best Irish whiskey I have tasted to date, earning a rating of 84 out of 100.
Redbreast 12 Year Old is a really solid whiskey all around, which is why it earns a top spot among Irish whiskeys. I would like to see a little more complexity on the palate, but that’s probably not why you would buy this in the first place. I would love to try the Cask Strength version.