Anyone who enjoys Christmas cake with dried fruits, or toasted raisin buns would enjoy this, and a simple man like me certainly does. At its price range, I would recommend any alcoholic to include the Redbreast 12 in his personal collection as a go-to drink, and if not, as something for his friends who are just beginning to drink whiskey (or whiskey).
Link to review: https://88bamboo.co/blogs/the-bamboo-post/redbreast-12-years-old-new-midleton-distillery-40-0-ob
In the glass, the whiskey is a deep amber indicative of a long sherry maturation.
On the nose, the whiskey leads with moderate vanilla with lightly toasted almonds and walnuts. This develops into a clean sweet fragrance of Sherried fruits, such as raisins and cranberries. There is a slight floral fragrance and fresh cut grass.
On my tasting, a surprisingly sweet first act, with vanilla, cereal and honey-roasted almonds, with growing notes of caramelized apple. The sweet malty notes are very very clean and crisp, indeed true to its Irish triple-distilled character.
In the midst of it, some sherry and spice grow on my palate, although it felt rather subtle because my attention was focused on the sweet and light malt. Once I caught notes of some dark fruits, I do realise the “sherry undertones” advertised on the label are indeed present and further sips draw me closer. There is a flavourful but well-rounded sherry note with raisins, cranberries, hawthorn candy flakes (山楂) and a bit of woodiness from the toasted barrel. Very very slight leatheriness and spice accompany the dry fruits. The texture is velvety and lovely, and I really like the marriage of equals between the clean and sweet vanilla flavours on one hand and sherry notes and spice on the other. Neither profile overwhelms the other, which leaves me to be able to enjoy both.
The finish is long, with raisins and hawthorn candy, and warming ginger spice. While the flavours are light and crisp, the texture is not just smooth but somewhat creamier and more velvety than Scottish single malt- perhaps I am thinking too much but I would attribute this difference to the unmalted barley used for Irish.