Redbreast 1989 (Port cask #38635 for The Whisky Exchange)

Redbreast 1989 (Port cask #38635 for The Whisky Exchange)

You may remember the third Redbreast Dream Cask which was a pair of refill barrels (1989 + 1991)  married in a Ruby Port pipe. Gorgeous Irish whiskey.

In the same vein there is this Redbreast 1989 single pot still whiskey bottled exclusively for The Whisky Exchange. Initially matured in ex-bourbon barrels until 1995 and then resting another 25 years in a single Port cask. We shouldn’t talk of a ‘Port finish’ in this case. It’s more accurate to say the whiskey was given a modest bourbon prequel.  


Redbreast 30 yo 1989 (57,2%, OB for The Whisky Exchange 2020, ex-bourbon + Port cask #38635, 444 btl.)

Nose: succulent fruits with generous amounts of polished oak. Cassis, raspberries and lots of juicy plums, but not overpowering at all. There’s still plenty of the more delicate fruits like pineapples, kiwi and tangerines. Fragrant mangosteen as well – a tasting note that I’ve only used twice so far, but it’s one of my favourite fruits. A little mint, cinnamon and subtle leather. Hints of gingerbread and vanilla. Such a fruit bomb.

Mouth: slightly less fruity now, but all the more complex. Ginger and cinnamon, wee notes of herbal liqueurs and eucalyptus freshness. Sweet cherries, stewed plums and raisins underneath, as well as a fine hint of blood orange. A slightly exotic hint of cedar wood, before it gets to blackberries and a mint / toffee combo. Still a subtle hint of passion fruit but they’re struggling to get heard under the weight of the darker fruits and spicy notes.

Finish: long, with hints of Moscovado sugar, ripe fruits and a drop of cough syrup.

Excellent Redbreast (again): the Port cask adds several layers on top of the usual tropical fruits. A superbly fresh and juicy nose, leading to darker fruits and herbal notes in the mouth. I’m usually not the biggest fan of Port casks but it’s fascinating how well they work for Redbreast. Still available from The Whisky Exchange.