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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

October 3, 2013


New Tullamore Dew vs. new Redbreast

The new Irish whiskeys are becoming more and more impressive in my little book, especially the ones that contain pot still whiskey, I think they're losing their excessive lightness (from a Scotch drinker's POV) while keeping their Irishness.

Tullamore Dew 'Phoenix' (55%, OB, 2013)

Tullamore Dew 'Phoenix' (55%, OB, 2013) Four starsAccording to the label this new baby was 'enriched in pot still' (not too sure about what that means, probably that it contains some pot still whiskey) and finished in 'old oloroso sherry cask'. It's a blend, said to be around 8 years old. Colour: full gold. Nose: starts with rather heavy notes of toasted oak before more fruits come through, as well as a little bubblegum. Raspberries, perhaps from the sherry, as well as touches of bananas and then overripe apples and pears. With water: the pot still character comes more to the front. Something slightly (and pleasantly) metallic. Mouth (neat): very sweet, all on a mix of apple juice, pears and vanilla fudge at first sips. A little more sweet sherry than in the nose, around raisins, then a light spiciness, with maybe a little sweet curry and cinnamon. Also tangerines. With water: becomes rounder and softer but the profile remains the same. Maybe a little more raisiny. Finish: not very long but these notes of sultanas are very pleasant. A little toasted oak again in the aftertaste. Comments: I think it's more or less Tullamore Dew 'Black' with more power. Now, I enjoy Tullamore Dew 'Black'. And excellent surprise, I think new owners William Grant are doing a great job with this old brand. SGP:551 - 85 points.

Redbreast 21 yo (46%, OB, single pot still, 2013)

Redbreast 21 yo (46%, OB, single pot still, 2013) Four stars and a half This new Redbreast, the oldest ever, does not come cheap at approx 180 €. Colour: full gold. Nose: typically Redbreast, with an avalanche of 'tropical Irish fruits'. Mainly mangos, passion fruits and pineapples, then golden sultanas. It remained very fresh despite the older age and displays neither too much spiciness nor an excessively vanilla-ed profile. Touches of toasted oak and pinesap come through as well but they remain discreet. Mouth: excellent, creamy, starting with a combination of marzipan and blood oranges, which works very well and is quite unusual. Goes on with a little mango chutney, dried figs, honeydew and a few slices of dried coconut but it never becomes 'pina-colada-ish', which isn't bad news. I also enjoy very much the hints of verbena and wormwood that keep it fresh and 'light'. Finish: medium length, rather smooth, never tea-ish despite the older age. The oranges are still there. Comments: I really enjoy the fact that there isn't too much oak, and the global freshness. Supplants the 12 CS as my favourite Redbreast and bizarrely, I find this 21 rather less oaky than the 15. SGP:641 - 89 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Irish I've tasted so far







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