Nose(without water): When opening the bottle and pouring a dram, there was an initial strong alcohol scent, which quickly changed to lemon citrus with some malty undertones. But if you let the whiskey breathe in a tumbler for a few minutes, the aromas rising up become much maltier and therefore quite pleasant.
Palate(without water): sweet ginger and thick honey, cinnamon and sherry!
Finish(without water): some dark toast, hot cinnamon, sherry and spicy ginger!
Palate(with water): add one teaspoon of water and this whiskey reveals its complexity of flavour. It tastes more honeyed rather than the concentrated cinnamon and sherry revealed when sampled neat. Besides the honey being brought to the foreground, there appears rich cinnamon and ginger making a pleasant taste. By adding water it subdues the sherry considerably! When drinking this whiskey neat, the sherry is out of balance and much too dominant. Apart from the nice cinnamon, the other flavours of honey and ginger emerge perfectly!
Finish (with water):
Spiced butterscotch, toffee and cinnamon!
Some whiskey's benefit enormously from the addition of water, while others do not. Redbreast 12 yr is one of those!