A huge thanks to Greg Szczepkowski aka @BogStandardDram on Twitter for another great bottle tasted and noted for us.
This time it’s THE Redbreast 27 year old (exceptionally jealous!)!
The oldest permanent expression in the Redbreast family, at 27 years old! The single pot still Irish whiskey has been triple distilled, and then matured in a brilliant combination of bourbon, sherry and ruby Port casks.
Whiskey age: Under 1 month
Appearance: Light to medium brown
Nose: Not your typical single pot still! Starts off with very pronounced bourbon notes with addition of exotic fruit. Dark brown sugar and honey, blueberry yoghurt, delicate touch of citrus, apple turnover with a grassy grain undertone, cherry cola and overripe cherries, sweet/syroupy sherry notes like PX.
Palate: Surprisingly spicy and oaky arrival, long development and subtle (not watered down!). Spices are typical: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger – anything you can associate with baked pastries. It is not too sweet, very fine balance. Oak notes are also fresh and not tired, living sap. There is a cranberry juice too.
Finish: Probably the longest I have ever encountered. Patient and gradual increase of single pot still spiciness: chili and black pepper. At the same time the finish is very delicate at 54.6% ABV, no water. After a decent while, really dominant blackcurrant note appears, followed by menthol. Both form fresh feeling of sore throat lozenges. Very tasty whisky indeed!
Overall: A paradox. This whiskey offers a whole spectrum of tastes, just like an encyclopedia, I only had a 5cl sample to work with. The balance is fantastic, no exhausted barrels, subtle details. You name it – it’s probably there. But in order to appreciate it in full and recognize the craft, you have to be experienced drinker. And if you are experienced, chances are that you already tasted some spectacular offerings like unmatched Redbreast 12 Cask Strength. For a 1/5th of the price of 27 year old.
I think this one is ideal for people who like to have only one luxury bottle to dip into. If you are looking for some sudden change of direction and explosions of taste, you may be left underwhelmed.
By any stretch if you can try it, please do! But I personally will stick to more affordable treasures out there, true sherry bombs, peat monsters and “fighting Irish” single potstills that offer not only much better value for money but engaging and fun at the same.