Author Archives: whiskyunplugged

Tasting Notes: Redbreast – 12 Years Old

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Redbreast 12 Years Old

Crafted at the Midleton Distillery in County Cork, Redbreast is recognised worldwide as the flag bearer of Irish pot still whiskey. The 12 years old expression is the brand’s staple release and the distinctive squat green bottle with its red and gold packaging can be seen adorning the shelves of any well stocked pub, bar or hotel if someone has looked beyond just Jameson’s or Bushmills for their Irish whiskey source. The spirit is made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley, before being triple distilled in copper pot stills before then being primarily matured in sherry casks.

ABV: 40%

 

Nose
M: A soft but rich nose with lots of fruity flavours, like currants and oranges and a little spiciness.

Taste
M: Really quite sweet flavours. The dried fruits from the smell are complemented with fresh, sweet caramel and vanilla flavours.

Finish
M: Sooooo smooth. The fruit flavours leave for a melted vanilla ice cream coating on the threat – like a boozy cola float.

Verdict
M: When people say, “I like such-and-such a whisky, because it is nice and smooth” then this will blow their minds and reset the bar for what “smooth” really means. That’s what it did for me, anyway. I knew that Irish whiskey was more renowned for its triple distillation and “creamy mouthfeel” but this is just something else. And that’s not taking into account the nice sherried fruit flavours and velvety sweetness. Definitely one to be savoured at the end of the evening regardless of the season.

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Whiskey and Celebrations

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Tasting Notes: Lagavulin – 16 Years Old

Lagavulin 16

Lagavulin is widely recognised as one of the leading names in whisky throughout the globe and regularly falls within the same breath as its fellow southern Islay neighbours Laphroaig and Ardbeg. The 16 year old is the core expression of Lagavulin and has (deservedly) garnered cult status amongst whisky fans and peatheads worldwide. Each facet of the dram is distinctive and should be savoured.

ABV: 43%


Nose

M: It’s hard to describe without using its own name – its simply, big Lagavulin smoke.

R: So I get a real outdoorsy smell from this. Like a camp fire.With like a caramel-ishness.

 

Taste

M: Caramel sweetness and big rich, fruity flavours at first that are then instantly battered by full malty smoke and oak.

R: I find it kind of evaporates on the tongue very quickly, then fills your mouth with smoky deliciousness.


Finish

M: Brown sugar sweetness upfront and then the smoke builds and builds as it coats the throat on the way down, leaving a peppery spiciness in the smoky aftermath.

R: It’s like it’s light and delicate but simultaneously potent and powerful.


Verdict

M: Amazing. It’s hard to describe as it’s just distinctly Lagavulin. Regardless of whether or not you like smoky whiskies, one encounter with this dram and you can understand why it has cult status. “Mother’s milk” as Ron Swanson would put it.

R: Final verdict, for me, it’s not an every day kind of whisky. It’s the sort of thing you need to be in the right mood for. It’s an evening in front of the fire, with dressing gowns and cigars and a leather bound book kind of drink. One other point. I had a bit of a sinus headache when I poured the glass. It’s gone now.

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Lagavulin Bay

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Tasting Notes: Glen Scotia – 25 Years Old

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Glen Scotia 25

Known for their lighter, more delicate  single malt whiskies, Glen Scotia is one of the three remaining active distilleries in the legendary Scotch region of Campbeltown. Acquired by the Loch Lomond Group in 2014, and releasing only a few core expressions of single malts, the Glen Scotia 25 year old whisky was launched at the Campbeltown whisky festival on 24th May 2017 and promises to be a new staple release.

ABV: 48.8%


Nose

M: Nice gentle peat smoke upfront and then soft, fresh green fruits (apples and pears) when you give it a bigger sniff.

 

Taste

M: Light body and fresh fruits, kinda remind me of a crisp white wine at first and then waves of light peat smoke take over. Lots of delicate fruity flavours in there.

 

Finish

M: That white wine sweetness and fruitiness is quickly followed by peat smoke (more than I thought it would) and  a little peppercorn spiciness before fading back to the Parma Violet sweetness

 

Verdict

I’m amazed that all elements of this whisky have been in a barrel for at least quarter of a century. It is so light in colour and body, but that must mean that it’s maturity is all in the flavours. Really nice and fresh fruity flavours that are all complemented by the peat smoke. I would be even more intrigued to find out what it tastes like without the peat element. Overall it’s a lovely whisky and definitely one that’s more suited to the summer months, than the peat monsters I’d associate with winter. When it comes to the wallet though, there are 25 years of rent to cover within the bottle price, so it’s not something to go around drinking everyday, despite how much you’d want to.

 

I should also thank Steve @TheWhiskyWire for arranging the tweet tasting sample set 👍🏻

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