Whisky Advocate

Hot tip: Redbreast 15 yr. old

October 26th, 2007

I feel that it’s my obligation to let you know when I find out about a great whiskey that’s not in the mainstream and will become increasingly more difficult to find. Redbreast 15 year old is one of those whiskeys.

Most Irish whiskey drinkers probably already know about Redbreast 12 year old pure pot still whiskey. It’s the only pure pot still whiskey (whiskey made from both malted and unmalted barley in pot stills) brand that is still on the market as a regular stock item throughout the world. (Sure there’s Green Spot, but it’s available in extremely limited quantities and not sold in the U.S.) Redbreast 12 year old is, in its own right, is a fantastic whiskey and not always easy to find.

But then I found out about how La Maison du Whisky in France had Irish Distillers make a 15 year old, 46%, unchill-filtered version specifically for them. Last week when I toured the Midleton Distillery (where Redbreast–and Jameson–is made) during the launch of Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve, I was able to procure a bottle. It’s fantastic!

According to David Quinn of Irish Distillers, who I was with last week, some of these bottles “surprisingly” found their way to a few whisky specialist shops throughout Europe. Regardless, stocks of this whiskey are rare and, according to Dave, will become increasingly rare in the future.

(Dave didn’t go so far to say they aren’t going to make it any more in the future, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did stop making it–or ration it out in painfully slow amounts to La Maison du Whisky–which would be very sad indeed. With last week’s launch of the new Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve, I can’t imagine they want to have any of their other Irish whiskey brands stealing the limelight of Jameson.)

So, if you love Irish whiskey, do your best to get a bottle. Even if you usually drink single malt scotch you should find a way to get a bottle, because I think you will enjoy it very much. Here’s the link to La Maison du Whisky’s website: http://www.whisky.fr/produit-349-redbreast-15-ans-46-15-yo.html

What we really should do is start a worldwide petition to get Irish Distillers to make Redbreast 15 year old a regular stock item, along with Redbreast 12 year old. I have no problem drinking both Jameson and Redbreast.

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