Saturday May 20th 2017, World Whiskey Day, I doubt i’ll forget anytime soon & you’ll understand why when you find out the details of the dream cask.
For World Whisky Day 2017, Redbreast (I.D.L) released a 100ml mystery sample to 100 people around the world. Thanks to Whisky For Everyone I was lucky enough to be part of that 100.
For a week after I received my parcel I used all my willpower to not open the sample, willpower which I severely lack at the best of times, so once it hit 7pm it was happy days!
Introductions & hints towards what we could be about to sample from Dave McCabe & Billy Leighton slowly moved onto Billy giving a bit of detail about the cask, pointing out the Cask Number – 41207, then the marked date of 2011, which would mean it was at least 6 years old, but then we got hit with “Don’t be mislead by the 2011 date, because it’s whiskey that has been recasked into this cask”. At this point Mr Leighton had us on tender hooks. The next few words he uttered changed the game completely, “Before that it had 25 years in refill ex-bourbon casks”. YES, that does make it just over 31 years old! A proper OH S**T moment for me, because this meant it was the oldest Irish whiskey I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.
A reason why Billy Leighton chose this cask is because it came from the same parcel of casks used for Redbreast’s 21’s first vatting on 20th August 2013.
The Dream Cask, a Single Pot Still bottled at cask strength, 46.7% ABV, which seems low for a cask strength but note it’s been losing strength over the 31 years. Laid down in refill ex-bourbon casks in 1985 at 63.3% ABV & re-casked to first fill Oloroso Sherry butts in 2011 with an ABV of 48.3%.
Colour – Medium Mahogany
Nose – Full, lush notes of dark fruits, plums & at the lower end a hint of figs. Also a nudge towards vanilla.
Texture – Soft, good oil with a full coating of the mouth.
Taste – Blackcurrants to the forefront, gentle warm notes with grasping spice of cinnamon & clove well-known to Pot Stills. Deep plumbs & soaked raisins, a pinch of orange zest & a splash of coco. Notions of Oloroso Sherry. Second time around I picked up on a light touching of black pepper.
Finish – Gentle warming, spoon full of spice, & a finish that goes on like your Nan telling you the same story over & over.
Comments – without a doubt do not add water, it does not need it. This old Pot Still is best served neat.
After you finish, don’t wash your glass. Leave it a few hours & you’ll then be greeted with tremendous aromas. The aroma of Cadbury’s caramel & Walkers toffee’s were delightful.
When I tried Redbreast Mano a Lámh (solely age in Oloroso Sherry butts – 46% ABV) back in December of 2015, it blew me away, I didn’t think I’d try a Redbreast that would ever top it. It’s safe to say this dream cask blew it out of the water!
I can see why they named this the “Dream Cask” it’s what dreams are made of in the whiskey world, but this one came true.
Hopefully the 450 odd litres left in this sherry butt get bottled & sold to Birdhouse members like the Mano a Lámh release. Though if they do release it be prepared to check down the back of every sofa for those pennies because it will without a doubt be pricey!!
Until next time folks, keep safe & keep drinking whisk(e)y.
Over & out.
Jamie. Whiskey JAC.