There's some new Redbreast hitting the scene in 2023! A tawny port cask finish Irish whiskey is not unheard of, with Irish whiskey often utilizing any barrels they can get their hands on as they don't have their own reliable source for suitable oak for fresh cooperage. Bourbon barrels, sherry barrels and port barrels continue to be the powerhouse aging medium for Irish whiskey. Redbreast does have some other port finished releases, namely the ruby port finish that is used on their 27 year release which I have also reviewed. Redbreast describes the process for creating this whiskey, saying:
Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is a single pot still Irish whiskey initially matured in a combination of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. The whiskey was then finished in Tawny Port casks for a number of years, adding a new dimension to the profile used in the expression. All of the whiskeys then completed their maturation journey by marrying in freshly seasoned tawny port hogsheads for a final maturation period of 14-25 months.
Well as with every new release hitting the shelves near you, my dear reader, you're probably wondering if this one is worth picking up. Let's dive into a review of Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition from the Iberian Series to find out.
Company on Label: Pernod Ricard (Distilled at Midleton Distillery)
Whiskey Type: Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: 100% Malted and Unmalted Barley
Further identification: This Tawny Port Cask Edition is the first of this style in the Iberian Series that released in 2023 at an MSRP of $100
Nose: On first whiff I find the arts and crafts department in the glass. Drying paint, linen and burlap can be dug up. Another inhale shows off sweet, thin tones of salted butter. Late in the glass I have to dig really deep to find anything worth talking about; touches of plum, vinegar and raisin can be found in tiny pockets. The empty glass carries hints of chlorine, salt water and dry rocks.
Palate: My first sip is electric with zesty orange peel and peach rings. Another taste rings in a nondescript fruit basket. Nothing has been cut, scraped, zested or expressed - just plain fruit sitting at a distance. The main item I can identify is the skin of an orange. A larger sip and swish shows off hints of peanut brittle and vanilla. Overall this drinks fine, but really quite boring in comparison to the rest of the Redbreast lineup. My last sip follows suit in a dram worthy only of nodding off.
TL;DR: Thin whiskey with light flavor for easy sipping
Perhaps this one could have done better at a higher proof, but unfortunately at 92 proof this ends up drinking quite... watery. Unremarkable flavor and a surprisingly thin mouthfeel tell me that this is ultimately not their best work. This completely pales in comparison to the Ruby Port finished Redbreast 27 year release and also doesn't hold a candle to the PX editions.