Special thanks to /u/muaddib99 for the in person swap for this one (and many more to come)!
So I start this review with a question: What should I write about? It’s an Irish whiskey, so why not discuss The Irish People?
Let me tell you something about writing ABOUT anything Irish: It gets you in trouble. No matter what. And not from the Irish people, who I’ve met very few, and are darling people.
No, I mean from the American/Canadian-Irish, you’ll hear more bluster and anger about how dare you without ever making your point. Even if they are 1/16th Irish and think Ginger’s aren’t sexy at all, don’t know about the Troubles, and don’t like stout, they’ll tell you right off.
So no, I won’t be saying anything about the Irish people other than they are people, they have a history, it’s all interesting and wonderful, and I hold no ill will nor any eugenic superiority to them.
Well, that statement couldn’t be more Canadian if I tried.
Instead, I’ll be talking about their whiskey. Irish Whiskey, or specifically Redbreast 12 (which sounds like a ginger boob joke), is distilled three times. This is different than Single Malt, which is distilled 2 times (or 2.5 if you’re Springbank, but they do what they want and I love it).
Also, Redbreast is one of the few single pot still whiskey brands out there (along with Green Spot). And against the spotty people over at Irish Distillers’, they put an age statement. So this is quite the unique batch of hooch.
Let’s see how it rates.
Price: $62.95 (CAD) at the LCBO
Nose: Half cooked rolls, pineapple, parsley, orange, cleaning solvent
When I say half cooked rolls, I mean the smell of buns in the oven when they are only half done. I don’t mean that I have been eating warmed dough, or some obese persons sunburnt belly.
There’s an off note in this that smells very… chemical. Otherwise nice, has the yeast, herb, and fruit mix usually found in Irish Whiskey.
Taste: Wheat, yeast, chocolate, lemon juice, metallic, banana
Starts out a little light, amps up a tad, and then there’s some metal taste (not like liking the lead singer of Slayer, more like chewing on Aluminum).
Any smoke flavour is encapsulated in the metal flavour (again, not Metallica, think Iron).
Finish: Lemon peel, anise, yoghurt, burn, cumin, yeast
Decent finish, little bit of burn there which reduces the other flavours, and keeping with more of the yeast. The metal (not the Tenacious D song) is gone, so the smoke mixes with some sweet notes to make a liquorice flavour.
Conclusion: It’s certainly unique. Granted so is a butterfly with penises for eyes. The nose has an off note that doesn’t disappear, the taste has a metallic quality, and the finish, while nice, suffers from a mouth numbing burn and is too little too late.
I think the 40% plays into a lot of the issues here. Any of the nice flavours are dull and not too vivid. Have a dram if you want, however for me, it’s a skip.
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