The 2021 release of the PX edition from Redbreast was my top Irish whiskey I tried this past St. Patrick's Day & it also earned my top review score - (Just wow. One of my favorites.)! I'd like to thank local whiskey guru Alan Starr for giving me a sample of this for review. I was excited to see the bottle being re-distributed this year as I was only able to secure one bottle of it last year. It seems to be coming out in higher volumes around me at time of writing, so I thought I'd give it a try and possibly taste it against my 2021 release I happen to still have handy. So without further ado - let's get into it!
Company on Label: Pernod Ricard (Distilled at Midleton Distillery)
Whiskey Type: Finished Irish Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: 100% Malted and Unmalted Barley
Further identification: This is a 2022 re-release of the Iberian Series collaboration from Redbreast that first released in late 2021; it is initially matured in both bourbon and oloroso sherry casks before spending another 12-22 months in Pedro Ximénez hogsheads seasoned at the Páez Lobato cooperage in Jerez.
Nose: Pleasant confectioners sugar immediately hits my nose from the very beginning - something the first release did quite well was really deliver on that sweet dessert characteristic so this is promising. It has the traditional Midleton oily, viscous, creamy nose feel for certain. Plum, fig and a mixed berry parfait characteristic jump out at me.
After a sip the oak characteristics begin to show up more pronounced, and with that brings more rich caramel. Wow, as the glass gets closer to empty the vanilla notes begin to really shine. Lovely aromas all throughout on this one. I get some delicious honey sweetness on the back end of long inhales. The empty glass smells of nutmeg, creamy caramel, damp dirt and light, floral honey.
Palate: My first sip is cherry upfront which then fades into a tart orange peel and lovely vanilla frosting. Another sip shows off decadent crème brûlée and sweet toffee. Traditional Irish shortbread cookie comes across moist, rich and coating. There's a lovely, lovely mouth coating and a decent linger for the lower proof here. A larger sip and swish shows off the earthy tones I was missing here that I remembered the earlier release having. My last sip is all creamy caramel. The linger is on the shorter side with a yummy creamy vanilla and coffee bean sitting in the back of my mouth.
Further thoughts compared to the 2021 release:
The nose is very much on par between the two with the 2022 release perhaps leaning a touch even sweeter than the 2021, which is an incredible feat in it's own right. The 2021 does feel like it has a bit more nuanced complexity going on though. On the palate I find the 2021 to be more verdant, earthy and coating than the 2022. The 2021 has the longer linger of that two, but it is very, very close and I'm being quite picky here trying to find differences. I do think these releases are about even - they just don't seem to be aligning to the same evolution timeline in the glass. I do think the 2021 release is better overall - but hopefully that is just because that bottle is 2/3rds gone and the 2022 release is something close to a fresh crack. Thank you for the chance to try this before I go grab a bottle or two for myself Alan!