Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day…oh, forget it.
This is my second review of the Redbreast 12 CS. I’d forgotten about that first review when I put this more recently acquired sample on my “Coming Soon…” list at the end of last year. When I discovered the first review I figured I’d go ahead anyway as this was a later batch. But now that I’ve sat down to actually take my notes, I see that this came from the same batch as the previously reviewed sample! Oh well, let’s go ahead anyway and see if I come to any different conclusions this time. And as I say that I remember that when I set up the blog I’d thought that I would re-review whiskies quite frequently, and I really haven’t done so. So, as it turns out, this was my master-plan all along and I’m really not an addled idiot who has no idea what he is doing.
Redbreast 12 CS (57.7%; Batch B1/11; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Dusty wood and a malty sweetness with some tart apple in there too. Gets more acidic as it sits and a bit chalky—the sweet note begins to get a bit musky. With more time and air there’s lemon peel and citronella. Softer with water with some vanilla joining the lemon.
Palate: On the nose it leads with the chalk and the wood—somewhat astringent and more than a bit grainy (as in reminiscent of grain whisky). A nice oily mouthfeel but it’s quite hot and closed. I’ll give it some more time/air and if it doesn’t improve I’ll add water. With more time there’s more citrus but it’s still quite woody and hot. Water brings out more citrus but also causes the wood to become even more loud.
Finish: Medium. Not much of interest: mostly alcohol burn and a porridgy note. With water the wood gets really pronounced and it’s much sharper here.
Comments: Well, my notes are a bit different from the first time around—I certainly didn’t get the honey and raisins this time on the nose and found no apricot on the palate (that would have been nice). On both occasions I liked the nose more. Alas, on the whole, I liked it even less this time. Apologies to Redbreast-adherents, but keep in mind that my track record with Irish whiskey is generally very poor—the overall profile may just not be for me.
Rating: 82 points.
Thanks to Sku for the sample!
I’m rather indifferent to the general Irish profile myself, which is why I find your review puzzling. I very much like the RB12 CS, and I think it’s because it tastes like a good clean sherried Speysider to me. Curious to hear what others think.
It just tastes too hot to me and too woody. I like the nose quite a bit more. And I think I liked the regular Redbreast 12 more, though it’s been a while since I’ve had it: more malty notes along with milk chocolate/coffee.