Redbreast 12 years

"The archetype of this particular style that has become a favourite of in my cabinet"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Some whiskies you like the moment they lay in your mouth. Others need more time to convince your senses. The latter often become the most treasured in my experience. I tasted Redbreast 12 years already early during my whisky voyage, probably somewhere around 2012. I still remember the first dram I tasted, which appeared strange, different from what I used to know and with many types my taste buds were unfamiliar with. In fact, after the first couple of drams I suspected this to be a bad buy. However, something kept intriguing me and with time I grew more and more fond of this Irish liquid. My expanding experience with the wide world of whisky within and certainly outside of Scotland helped to develop my olfactory system to recognise and appreciate more and more sorts and subtle varieties of smells and flavours. Once in a while I would go back to the Redbreast 12 and suddenly the bottle was almost finished. It had become one of my favourite whiskies.


Initially, mostly bitter and deep sweet vanilla. It appears very tight, but opens up after some time in the glass. It can even take a drop of water. Baked bananas, mango, white wine, a lighter sense of fresh vanilla, sharp sweet cinnamon and lovely tones of sherry. It has got a slightly floral touch, while the sherry part develops into freshly prepared coffee, figs and a touch of lime skin. There is something between the different scents, some kind of tension, which keeps me coming back to smell it again.


Lots of liquorice in the first sip. I also get aniseed, liquorice allsorts (love those), sweet liquorice, again the bitter-sweet vanilla, sugar-coated ginger, brown sugar, varnished wood (do not try to lick too often), sour plums and stem ginger. The complexity and depth of flavours is excellent for a whisky of this age and strength. The palate keeps shifting between vanilla, liquorice, spices and varying hints of sherry. Fresh vanilla, hints of wet stones, grapes and wet sand and a tad drying towards the aftertaste with the spices (in particular nutmeg) taking the lead there. 


Like the misty lands of Ireland this whisky’s ever-changing appearance conceals its true quality. I needed some time to understand its quality, but once I got there it had stolen my heart. Good balance and satisfying power and depth. Still the archetypical single pot still Irish whisky since Midleton’s re-release surprised the whisky community in the 90s, it also was my introduction into this particular style of whisky. I have not managed to get out of its embrace ever since. Not that I want to, mind you, since I just love this captivating style.

What others say

Whiskybase: 81.50 (10 votes) * @TheWhiskeyWash: 70/100 * @Distiller: 82/100
Read for yourself

A bootle of this was purchased from !


these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
Sweet <-> Spicy
Nose 88%
Taste 90%
Balance 89%
Depth 88%
Finish 89%