Review: Redbreast Whisky’s #RedbreastDreamCask event

redbreast whiskey

Redbreast Whisky’s #RedbreastDreamCask event

Back in May, as part of the celebrations for World Whisky Day I was one of the lucky folk to be invited along to Billy Leighton’s Redbreast Dream Cask event over on Facebook.

It was a 20-minute online live tasting with Redbreast Head Blender Billy Leighton, and Apprentice Blender Dave McCabe from warehouse A1 in the grounds of the Midleton Distillery. They talked us through an anonymous dram that we had been sent through the post. Queue lots of wandering what the dram was going to turn out to be before the event!

The video feed is still available on Facebook, so if you fancy watching it, please head to

If you’re going to watch the video, then watch out spoilers below…

The dram turned out to be something really rather special, and unexpectedly so!

It was 31 year-old Redbreast, single pot still, distilled on 31st of October 1985, and initially matured in refill bourbon barrel for 25 years, then in 2011 it was re-casked into an Oloroso sherry butt for 6 years (where it remains still), at 48,3%, and by the time we tried our samples from it, it was at a cask strength of 46,7%.

My tasting notes are:

Colour: Rich and golden with autumnal rust tints, but still bright.
Nose: Fairly strong with spirit, and richly pungent with winter fruits. Plenty of old wood notes, polished with bees wax.
Palate: Lovely and thick, and easier on your tongue than the vibrant nose might lead you to expect. There’s plenty of wood, but not too dominated; it plays nicely with the rich fruits, which turn out to be a mix of winter fruit compote, but also a good helping of more summary citrus hints. A great mix, very moreish, with gentle spices.
Finish: The finish has a fantastically summer fruit freshness to it, peaches comes to mind quite strongly, the slightly fluffy fruit skin. It’s really long, and nicely warming on your chest, great stuff.
Thoughts: At this age you can run the risk of a dram getting too woody, or one dimensional… That’s not the case here, it’s still really fresh and vibrant, but with the easy accessibility of older drams that I love. It’s a total winner, and would really be worth your money if it were available to buy, I can’t see anyone being disappointed with a dram like this! It’s got tropical fruits, juicy sherry and polished oak; it’s elegant yet vibrant.
Available: This dram was a cask sample, so not available, although via pressure from the club’s site (see below) maybe it’ll appear on sale one day (probably rather unaffordably). Until then, there’s lots of other Redbreast goodies for sale on Master of Malt’s website here.

If you want the chance to take part in future events such as this, make sure you’re signed up to the Redbreast members’ club, The Birdhouse.

Many thanks to Redbreast for the sample.

Redbreast Dream Cask

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