After the excellent Redbreast Dream Cask 32 Years last year, Irish Distillers released a new whiskey this year on World Whisky Day 2019. The new release is the Redbreast Dream Cask 20 Year Old – Pedro Ximénez Edition.
Master Blender Billy Leighton selected four casks, with single pot still whiskey spanning 20 to 33 years of age:
- a 1998 bourbon barrel re-racked into a PX butt in 2012
- a 1995 bourbon cask re-racked into an Oloroso butt in 2012
- a 1985 second-fill bourbon barrel
- a 1997 second-fill bourbon barrel
All these were originally destined for Rebreast 21 Years, but they were blended and married in a Pedro Ximénez butt, a first for Midleton distillery. It means this year’s Dream Cask was specially designed to have a slightly different profile.
Redbreast 20 yo ‘Dream Cask’ Pedro Ximénez Edition (52,2%, OB 2019, PX butt #374932, 50 cl, 924 btl.)
Nose: starts on aromatic spices (cinnamon, pepper) with cough sweets, thick molasses and dark fruits underneath. Blackberries, figs, raspberry liqueur. Thyme honey and sweet liquorice. Hints of toffee.
Mouth: same feeling. A lot of spice and thick sherry, again with this liqueur-like feel to it. Berries, hints of coffee candy, herbal syrup and agave nectar. Becomes increasingly chocolatey. Clove, leather, hints of tobacco leaves. Cinnamon bark and a peppery bite. Also an earthy side in the end.
Finish: dark fruits, chocolate coated walnuts, leather and some drops of Fernet Branca.
The raspberry liqueur and cough sweets pretty much sum it up: much more robust and simply more heavily sherried than last year’s Dream Cask, leaving less room for the naturally bright and slightly tropical Redbreast character in my opinion. A disappointment? Well, surely a good dram on its own but it suffers from the comparison.
Available for € 380 from Redbreast’s members club The Birdhouse. Tune in on Monday 27th May at 3pm local time.