In 1971 Bow Street distillery stopped producing. Redbreast didn’t disappear forever, of course. It just stopped being produces for a while. In the mid-90s the brand was relaunched with production of the whiskey happening at Midleton Distillery in County Cork.
So, that means this is quite some old liquid, with it being made in a distillery that hasn’t been producing since ten years before I was born. Rare stuff indeed!
Now, normal Redbreast is a fine product with their more luxurious versions often being very good whiskey. Let’s find out what they were about, some 40-50 years ago.
Lots of dusty barley, paper and hessian, some stale beer and old oak planks. Sawdust too, but all quite gentle.
The palate is a lot more intense than I expected, with a lot more grain, oak and dryness. It takes a while before the typical Irish whiskey sweetness kicks in. Then there’s fruit, some wood spices, wine gums too.
After a swallow the wine gums and the grain linger, with a nice spicy tingle.
With this being bottled at only 40%, it is a lot more intense than I expected. Not harsh, but it does have more impact. I guess old-fashioned distilling techniques make themselves known here.
It’s interesting to see it display some of the more typical Irish Whiskey qualities in being rather grainy and wine gum like, although it’s never too sweet.
Thanks to MaltMartin for the sample!