The Redbreast 15 is a bit of a leprechaun, rather difficult to get hold off at the local liqour stores – either out of stock, logistic issues due to Covid or pretty much close to being run out. This month I was rather fortunate, browsing online revealed the lil’ bloke was available and that too on sale! Knowing this one and the Redbreast 12 had slipped through my hands a couple of times, I didn’t want to give up even if it meant the bottles had to be flown interstate! Besides it was the month of St. Paddy’s, what more reason did I need!
The 12 and the 15 YO expressions differ very little except for the additional three years the latter spends within the comfort of the cask. The expressions are triple distilled, made exclusively from malted and unmalted barley and aged in a combination of first fill and refill exbourbon and ex-sherried casks. The 15 YO bottling retains the traditional Redbreast contours, somewhat old fashioned and classic, but clothed in royal green!
ABV : 40%
Eye : Burnished | Artificial Colouring
Nose : Dark chocolate, vanilla and barley, amalgamated with honey and rich dried fruits, dark sultanas, peaches, red cherries with subtle hints of cantaloupe. Woody and earthy with bay leaves, white pepper and cardamom
Taste : Honey and ripened plums along with caramel and chocolate; raisins, black currents, pecan nuts hovering over mildly charred wood. Savoury yet sweet spiced notes echoes on the palate, with shards of cinnamon and pepper.
Finish : Long | Rich and sweet caramel, with cinnamon and spice, left with a mild warmth
Comforting, moreish and settling with a warmth that reverberates as it swirls around the palate and settles down with every sip. The 15 is medium bodied, complex and dense with the burden (not!) of a wide spectrum of sherried influences that take precedence over most of its spice leaving all but a loud whisper. Traits from both ex-bourbon and Sherry are eminent with the balance leaning towards the latter.
At AUD $150 discounted, this expression deserves to be heard and is worth the higher price, offering an incremental experience of regality and richness. Delivering a lovely finish, it is a step above its younger sibling, though not by a mile. Now, if you were to buy it at regular pricing of AUD $200, it becomes less convincing since it’s almost twice the price of the 12YO, making the difference between them a little more vague, a little more blurred. Having said that, it is still a wonderful pour, that gets you licking that moustache! Lol!
Preference : Either neat or with a dash of water to open up the spirit.