They say dreams come true, well after the release of Redbreast Dream Cask last year (2018) dreams have come true once again for whiskey fans as Irish Distillers announced their latest release under the Dream Cask name on World Whiskey Day 2019.
Redbreast Dream Cask became a thing back in May 2017. I was among 100 lucky people that got sent a sample of Pot Still whiskey branded “Dream Cask” by I.D.L for World Whiskey Day. We only knew that it was some rare and special Redbreast but we later found out during a live tasting with Dave McCabe & Billy Leighton that it was the grand old age of 31 years. Billy mentioned it came from the same parcel of casks used for Redbreast’s 21’s first vatting on 20th August 2013. (Read More Here)
To our surprise and delight a year later (2018) I.D.L released the Dream Cask now a 32 year old to the public via their website – The Birdhouse. It’s safe to say they caused quite the stir and massive amounts of hype, it sold out within minutes. Even now the secondary market value is massive.
Fast forward another year for World Whiskey Day 2019 and I.D.L were once again up to something. Rumours started to do the rounds, then videos started to be released on their social media channels and finally packages arrived at the homes of a some lucky people a few days later. I was once again one of the lucky few to get a package, thought not being able to talk about what was in the box across social media took so much will power! And on that note – to the person who released the press release before the requested time, what did you achieve in doing so? You’re the type of person who wrecks it for everyone in the long run.
So what did I find in the box? Well a 20 Year Old Redbreast, bottled at a lovely 52.4% ABV (104.4 Proof) and finished in Pedro Ximénez which is surprisingly a first for Midleton.
33 years in the making.
4 casks in the shaping.
Pedro Ximénez for a dream ending.
The breakdown –
● Cask 1 – A Single Pot Still whiskey distilled in 1998, matured in an ex-bourbon barrel and re-casked into a Pedro Ximénez sherry butt in 2012.
● Cask 2 – a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1995, matured in an ex-bourbon cask and re-casked into an Oloroso sherry butt in 2012.
● Cask 3 – a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1985 and matured in a second-fill ex-bourbon barrel.
● Cask 4 – a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1997 and matured in a second-fill ex-bourbon barrel.
As I haven’t had the time to properly sit down and go over this tremendous yet and do it justice with my own notes here are the tasting notes by Head Blender Billy Leighton. (I’ll add my notes in due course)
Aroma: Full rich aroma of liquorice and treacle toffee, giving cover to vanilla sweetness and a concentrate of caramelised dried fruits. Cinnamon and clove acknowledge the presence of the ex-bourbon influence whilst hazelnut and almond nuttiness adds to the complexity delivered by the fine old Pedro Ximénez Butt from Jerez.
Taste: A rich viscose mouthful of satisfyingly assertive spices combined with sweet ripe fruit. The liquorice notes slowly evolve to reveal those typical exotic fruits and berries which define the Redbreast style.
Finish: Rich and long with those familiar Redbreast berries, slow to fade.
Billy Leighton, Redbreast Master Blender, commented on the launch:
“Rather than try to seek out another extraordinary cask from the Midleton inventory like the inaugural Redbreast Dream Cask, we set out to create a new Redbreast Irish whiskey like you have never tasted before. The coming together of three exceptional casks, originally destined for Redbreast 21, and a rare Pedro Ximénez butt is a first for Midleton, and the careful balance of sweet, spice and sherry flavours offers a new and complex take on the classic Redbreast Christmas cake flavour profile – it’s sure to add an extra cheer to your World Whisky Day celebrations this year!”
For me I think I’d take this over the 31 & 32 year old dream cask. If you’re reading this and have some Dream Cask 32 feel free to send me some so I can confirm my thoughts!
All 924 bottles will be sold exclusively to members of The Birdhouse, from 3pm on Monday 27th May at the RRP of £330/€380.
Will I be buying a bottle? Sadly not, mainly because my wallet won’t let me, however if your budget lets you then do so. I can’t recommend it enough.
Transparency – I was gifted this by Brand Ambassador – Joe Magowan.
Until next time, keep safe & keep drinking whiskey responsibly.
Over & out.
Jamie. Whiskey JAC
Please Drink Responsibly. Visit Drink Aware UK for more information.