The Redbreast Tawny Port Cask edition is the second limited-edition release in Redbreast Irish Whiskey’s Iberian Series.
Redbreast Irish Whiskey, produced by Irish Distillers in Co. Cork, Ireland, has introduced Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition, a limited-edition Single Pot Still Irish whiskey finished in tawny port casks from Portugal’s Douro Valley.
According to Irish Distillers, the Iberian series is inspired by Redbreast’s long standing connection to some of the Iberian Peninsula’s most celebrated cooperages and winemakers, “combining the craft and rich heritage of the region with the excellence of Midleton Distillery’s single pot still whiskeys to create expressions that are truly extraordinary.”
Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is the second limited edition to join the series, following the 2021 release of Redbreast Pedro Ximénez Edition, and permanent expression and series anchor, Redbreast Lustau Edition.
Crafted by Master Blender Billy Leighton and Blender Dave McCabe, Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is a Single Pot Still whiskey initially matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. To add a new dimension to the flavour profile, a portion of these maturing whiskeys were re-casked into tawny port casks for a number of years.
All of the whiskeys were then skillfully blended and completed their maturation journey by being married in freshly seasoned tawny port hogsheads for a final maturation period of 14-25 months.
“The resulting whiskey combines notes of praline, buttery baked goods and dried cherries from the earlier tawny port influence, followed by a warming sweetness of toasted caramel and vanilla carried through from the bourbon and an added depth of dried fruits from the sherry. The final maturation period in newly procured tawny port casks elevates the nutty character further and provides a sweet finish for a rich, full-bodied whiskey.”
The inspiration for Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition started over 12 years ago, when Leighton took a trip to the Douro Valley in Portugal to visit some of Midleton Distillery’s partner cooperages and winemakers. Reflecting on the trip, Leighton shares: “Enjoying lunch with the late renowned winemaker Joaquim Anacleto and Gesprove Winemaker José Pinheiro overlooking the valley, we were discussing the various wines and spirits that had influenced our whiskeys over the years and tawny port came up in conversation. Having worked with Ruby Port previously, we pondered the differences tawny port holds and subsequently the intriguing flavour profile that it could add to our whiskeys. Since then, we have been ageing single pot still whiskey in a small number of tawny port casks we receive annually from this beautiful sun drenched valley and, needless to say, we have been delighted with the results.”
Blender, Dave McCabe adds: “The combination of ageing some of the liquid in tawny port casks for a longer period, and re-casking all of the whiskey in tawny port hogsheads for its final maturation is what makes this expression so special. The flavour profile of Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is in keeping with the recognisable Redbreast family DNA, yet provides an exciting twist from another part of the Iberian Peninsula. And each subsequent expression in the series will represent a new discovery from this rich region, which to date has greatly influenced the Redbreast style over the course of its history.”
Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is bottled at 46% and will be available from 18 September in the USA, Ireland, UK, China, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Global Travel and online at the RRP of €100, £79, $100.
Irish Distillers’ Tasting Notes:
Nose: Sweet and warming confectionery notes of buttered pastry accompanied by aromas of caramelised almonds with subtle undertones of praline and dried cherry. Scented floral honey with whisperings of a delicate herbal character linger in the background while the seasoned oak and pot still spices accentuate the sweet and full-bodied nature of this wonderfully balanced whiskey.
Palate: Rich and nutty at first with notes of chocolate coated hazelnut and salted caramel, quickly followed with fresh plums and dried fig. The tannins’ soft presence works in harmony with the luscious and creamy texture, evoking notes of orange marmalade with delicate hints of toasted oak.
Finish: Lingering finish which sees the pot still spices and fruits slowly fading, leaving the tawny seasoned oak to have the last word.