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Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:09 am

Hi all. I think this piece was a useful exercise particularly in relation to the original question asked. Particular for the newcomer to the subject. I of course do not suggest the Irish producers should not move with the times and include coffee still grain spirits in their bottlings. Many of these mixes are excellent with the grain adding to complexity and balance. My gripe was always aimed at protecting what I regard as the real true blooded traditional Irish whiskey "Pure Pot Still" by ensuring that only the real thing is labelled with the term. If that description is allowed be placed on malt now, it will lessen the likelihood and any major revival of this style of Irish product. Cooley and Bushmills might produce it yet.

Suppose my long lost cousin in the US e-mails me saying. "My wife and I never drank, but now we are retired with family reared we would like to enjoy the occasional drink at birthdays, thanksgiving Christmas and St. Patrick's day. Could you recommend something authentic, that our grandfathers may have drank back in Ireland."

I would tell him, that I would recommend Irish whiskey. That in the mid 1800's the major Irish producers used huge pot stills to compete with Scotland's patient stills and they worked to find a strains of local grain that would ferment with only a portion of malted barley. This to save malting floor space and labour. It produced a distinctive style of whiskey. It is Pure Pot Still Irish whiskey and there are only 3 bottlings at present. Redbreast 12 , Redbreast 15 and Mitchells Green Spot".

Would I be right?

Do you know, I was cleaning out on old shed and came across a brown baby sized whiskey bottle. 7.1cl (1/2 gill) It was the shape of a large redbreast bottle. The label was gone and there was nothing inside. But the screw on cap was intact and the inscription clear. Ha !!! ? Redbreast. I never knew Redbreast was sold in baby bottles. There are numbers on the bottom, so if anyone knows anything about establishing dates from these numbers and a small mark, let me know.
I have a Photo of a Comber Bottle it says -guarateed Pure Pot Still-
I have an Old Jameson bottle, lable says - 70 proof, ten years old.
Dublin Whiskey.

I got a reply from the Scotch Whiskey Ass referring me to the EU regulation No 110-2008. It states.


(7) Blending
Blending means combining two or more spirit drinks of the same category, distinguished only by minor differences in
composition due to one or more of the following factors:
(a) the method of preparation;
(b) the stills employed;
(c) the period of maturation or ageing;
(d) the geographical area of production.
The spirit drink so produced shall be of the same category of spirit drink as the original spirit drinks before blending.
(as this refers to combining 2 or more spirit drinks- it means -after distillation). So that puts the tin hat on it -Redbreast is not a Blend).

I checked out the labelling requirements on 1014-1990. They deal mainly with other spirits and not whiskey. There does not appear to any requirement to describe blended whiskey on the label. I cannot find anything other than the label must be fair to the consumer which is vague. If I find out more I will post it. I have studied the American regulations and they are very detailed, a bit hard to understand but there is no messing about. All on about 2 pages with no lengthy intros. A blend must be so labelled.
I get your point Aiden. Can anyone tell me how Middleton manage the fact that several brands are produced there. Is there compartmentalisation. Is Powers separate from Jameson and Paddy. Is Power Pot still made in a different still than Jameson. Is the grain element made separately. Is the pot still component for Middleton reserve made right the way through for that brand, or is it selected from matured casks for further aging. I know that Powers Jameson are separate for accounting purposes, but what about the stuff on the ground?

I am not a huge drinker, but I love discovering something new, I have sampled about 40 Scotch Malts, 10 blends, All Irish except Redbreast 15 - Bushmills 21 - and Jameson Gold. One Indian and one Japanese, I hope to sample a few USA bottllings over the winter. Makers Mark done already and found it excellent. Woodford Reserve good, but too sweat. Not gone of Jack Daniels. Trying to get my hands on a bottle of Old Overholt Rye and a corn whiskey. Up here near the border there is an excellent (not exclusive) selection of world whiskeys. At reasonable prices. Newry shops, Lonegans Carrickmacross, Off Trimgate Street Navan, Supervalue Bailieboro, The steps in Lisnaskea. Culliville house and The Noble Grape on the Clones to Cavan Road. The latter being the most comprehensive selection. I can expand if needed in case anyone is coming through. Must call to the Celtic Whiskey Shop when in Dublin.

I see George Bernard Shaw is credited with calling whiskey - Liquid Sunshine - We could do with some sunshine this year.

Centrefire.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Pure Pot Head » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:42 am

[quote]A question to Pure Pot Head ... you seem to be a bit of a fan of Jameson so I presume you drink your fair share of it . Do you drink Jameson NAS regularly? Have you noticed it change over the years?[quote]

Hi IWC,

I'm not sure what the letters NAS stand for but I know you mean the standard stuff. Am I a big fan? Actually Jameson is really my default whiskey in that when out socialising, and drinking a lot, having fun, I drink beer followed by whiskey with a mixer. I'm not really thinking about it, just doing it if that makes sense. I usually go for a Jameson and Ginger Ale. Don;t like it with Coke. I don;t like Jack Daniels neat, but I have to say, it works better with Coke than Jameson, the stronger woods coming though. So that's one side to me.

But when it comes to really 'drinking whiskey' then I would much prefer a Jameson 12 or a Jameson 18. I went through a phase of Jameson Gold for a while but have drifted back to the strong sherry tones. However, these are a pricey. 18 year old is outside my budget I'm afraid so I only think about it when I get a chance to have one which isn't that often. It is so luxurious.

And of course I love Redbreast but it goes beyond the flavour thing. I love the history and the tradtion. And as much as I rave about it, if I had to choose one more glass of whiskey before I died, the choice wouldn't be clear cut. It wouldn't be a Jameson NAS(!). It might be a Redbreast. But it might just be a Jameson 12yr Old!


Regarding Scotch, in general I love the ambience and historical side of their business more than the actual taste. I don;t like the taste of peat generally (although once in a while, I seem to be drawn to it for the sakle of change and variety). But the smokiness always irritates. And that's just a personal taste thing, part of how the overall Irish Whiskey palate has developed historically and culturally. For that reason, from a whiskey enthusiast point of view, I'm drawn towards learning more about American whiskies and look forward to someday visiting the American distilleries. IT's also the reason I have no interest in other country whiskies that just seem to copy the Scotch style. I ask, what's the point of a Swedish smokey single malt really? Or a Japanese one? I would have much preferred if these guys had developed their own style, as the Irish did, as the Scots did and as the Americans did.

Having said all that I would love to track down a couple of flavoursome non peaty scotch whiskies to broaden my repertoire somewhat. And if there is a country that has emerged with an interesting and 'original' take on whiskey then I would be really interested in discovering that.

Lond answer to a short question - but yes I'm a big drinker of Jameson and a big fan of the more premium references I would say. Actually just before I go, Barry Crockett in describing the overall range put it very well. Jameson Standard is a combination of attributes. Each of the references 'pushes' one or more of those attributes to the fore, but all link back to the main standard bearer. Thus Redbreast pushes the Pot Still content all the way. Jameson 12 pushes the sherry and the Pot Still. Jameson 18 really pushes the sherry cask almost the whole way (finished in bourbon). Midelton uses no sherry at all! It's as if Jameson sits in the centre and each of these variations draw the taster in one direction or the other but the connection remains close.

And of course there's that fabulous brand that someday the world will learn more about and get to enjoy more widely. I just love what it stands for and what it is. And sometimes in the haze of a night out, I pause, disengage from the crowds and music and the lights, and I don;'t order a Jameson. I order a Powers neat, and it's a moment of magic. Maybe that would be my last....
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:30 am

NAS stands for No Age Statement and yes you figured right about it being regular Jameson I was talking about :wink:
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:40 pm

A poor auld farmer from Monaghan took his pigs to the fair in Carrickmacross in the early 1900's. He sold all, but felt he was tricked into accepting too low a price. The account he gave to his disgruntled wife on arrival home might throw some light on the cause.

Monaghan Farmer's lament: [words ending in "in" are local speak for "en"]

It was'nt min from Sha'arrcock,
Or min from Ball -a- bay,
But D'alin min from Crossmaglin,
Put fwhisky in me tay!!
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:20 pm

Those big stills in Kilbeggan distillery are only ornaments, they are not functioning. There is a small still in use there, its very old.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Aidan » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:44 am

centrefire wrote:Those big stills in Kilbeggan distillery are only ornaments, they are not functioning. There is a small still in use there, its very old.


They have two stills now, Centrefire. The small one has been duplicated. Hopefully the big ones will be used again, but I doubt it.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:04 am

Hi Folks:


I was at a wedding on saturday, the reception was in a North Midland Hotel. I arrived with 2 friends. I was expecting that only the usual Bushmills, Jameson and Powers whiskeys would be on sale. I scanned the shelf and spotted a little fat greenish/brown bottle of maked Redbreast "J J Jameson and son" 12 years old Irish whiskey.. I called 3 half ones for me and my 2 friends and told them this was good whiskey.

Well, they did not agree and when I tasted mine it was awful, not even as good as a cheap supermarked blend. There was an ugly wood taste. At first I thought it might have been filled with inferior stuff by deceitful staff, but on inspection of the bottle (in a hurry), I discovered that it did not say pure pot still. I then noticed the words "Gilbeys". in small writing. The taste is very similar to Tullamore Dew, not a favourite of mine at all and I think there is a link between them.

Now, there may be folks out there who will set their mind on buying "pure pot still Irish whiskey" There are 2 which are only imitation. One is Redbreast / Jameson marketed by Gilbeys of Ireland and the other is Redbreast with a white label on a conventional clear glass bottle marketed by Edward Dillon, Dublin. This is a slightly better blend of PPS and grain. Note! niether are the genuine article.

The only genuine Pure Pot Still is Mitchell's Green stop "no age" with screw on cap on a green bottle like Jameson. The Jameson crest in also on. No mention is made of its contents. There may be an older version. As market to-day this is genuine pure pot still, the taste bears witness the that. The other one is Redbreast in the Greenish/Brown bottle with a script explaining how PPS is make and no mention to blending is made. It comes in a brown box clearly maked Pure Pot Still 12 year old. there is a 15 year old 46% which is a fantastic version and genuine. Both are marketed by Irish Distillers at Middleton.

Don't get caught out. There is no comparison in the character and flavour between the genuine and imitation/blended versions.

May I just mention that sampling premium whiskeys in pubs and hotels can be doggy. I am beginning to suspect the someone draws out the contents and replaces it with cheap discount blends. Thinking drinkers wont know. I know a place with a good selection of Scotch malts and the half ones are nothing near as good as the one from the sealed bottle.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby cathach » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:28 am

centrefire wrote:Hi Folks:


I was at a wedding on saturday, the reception was in a North Midland Hotel. I arrived with 2 friends. I was expecting that only the usual Bushmills, Jameson and Powers whiskeys would be on sale. I scanned the shelf and spotted a little fat greenish/brown bottle of maked Redbreast "J J Jameson and son" 12 years old Irish whiskey.. I called 3 half ones for me and my 2 friends and told them this was good whiskey.

Well, they did not agree and when I tasted mine it was awful, not even as good as a cheap supermarket blend. There was an ugly wood taste. At first I thought it might have been filled with inferior stuff by deceitful staff, but on inspection of the bottle (in a hurry), I discovered that it did not say pure pot still. I then noticed the words "Gilbeys". in small writing. The taste is very similar to Tullamore Dew, not a favourite of mine at all and I think there is a link between them.

Now, there may be folks out there who will set their mind on buying "pure pot still Irish whiskey" There are 2 which are only imitation. One is Redbreast / Jameson marketed by Gilbeys of Ireland and the other is Redbreast with a white label on a conventional clear glass bottle marketed by Edward Dillon, Dublin. This is a slightly better blend of PPS and grain. Note! niether are the genuine article.



Hi Centrefire,

This looks like a case of severe mistaken identity. The 'Gilbeys' bottle of Redbreast dates at the very latest from the mid-1980s to my knowledge and this would explain the taste if it has been left open for 20+years. The original 'Redbreast' brand was created by Jameson for Gilbeys in 1939 to be their Irish whiskey sold in the UK & Ireland. When Jameson went about eliminating the 'bonders' brands' in the 1970s both it and Greenspot disappeared for a good few years until Jameson/IDL bought them back and released stocks. This happened at some point in the mid-1980s for both Greenspot and Redbreast. (They allowed Mitchells to leave their name on the label)

So a bottle of Redbreast with Gilbeys on the label must date from those times before the buy-out and had likely oxidised to the point of being noxious.

By the way the un-aged Redbreast blend for Dillon's wine merchants is long discontinued and now a collector's item (buíochas le Dia according to most people!).
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:08 pm

Thats good Cathoch



It gave me a suprise. From my experience there are still a few of the Gilbeys and Dillon bottles in pubs, but as you say all the Mitchells and Redbreasts on release now are the real thing "PPS" and buyers need have no doubts about this. Will you confirm that this is the case and it will settle the matter. I received a sample of 15yo Redbreast and will post my opinion soon.

I wonder could we discuss the issue of whether whiskey "goes off" or changes if left for long periods in the bottle. I have a little experience of this.

How do you say "liquid sunshine" as Gaeilige

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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby cathach » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:30 pm

Hi Centrefire,

Thats the extent of my knowledge as it stands. The old Redbreast bottle had a different shape as well, it was very like a bottle of Benedictine or Grand Marnier, at least the versions I've seen.
I am very surprised that you have seen many of Dillon and Gilbey-marked bottles around in pubs. I never have but if you're in Dublin where Dillon is a big winemerchant then its not so surprising, I'm out west myself.

Those Gilbey Redbreasts would have to be from the mid-80s as stocks disappeared for a while until IDL bought the name and re-launched it. Jim Murray mentions it in his Classic Irish Whiskey of 1994, but no dates and I haven't got a copy myself.

There are several threads on the forums dealing with opened bottles of whiskey oxidising or 'going off' over time. Some people even buy bottles of a strongly-flavoured whiskey and open it, then leave it for a few months until it mellows of elements of the taste that don't like 'go flat' or disappear.
The compounds that give whiskey its flavour are oils and organic compunds, and like oil or fat they will go rancid in time if exposed to air.

Leacht greine is the best Irish I can put on liquid sunshine.

P.S. just discovered that 'dram' is Greek, not Scots too!!
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:49 am

This is my verdict on:

Redbreast 15 year old, Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey, 90 proof 46% abv. 115 Euros.
Its non chill filtered and no colour added.
I placed a sample in the fridge to see if the fatty solids turned it cloudy . It did, but only a little.
Colour is medium golden indicating a majority of bourbon casks which is good with pot still.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nose: Classic Pure Pot Still with just a hint of malt, notes of ground barley meal, soda bread, vanilla, custard powder, the wild vapour of the younger version is tamed by the butter scotch note of good bourbon casks, sawn mahogany, furze (whin) blossom.

Pallet: Pungent fizz bag, vanilla, corn flower, ginger, spice, red apple, ripe plum, mixed peel, melted butter on ginger bread, walnuts.

Finish: Fizzy and crackly, spiky tingly, walnuts, but tapering away compared with the nose and pallet. There is a lightness not found in malt.

Aftertaste: Warm glow, nutty oak with butter scotch clinging to the taste buds, corn flower/barley meal, vanilla.

Was very well received on the tummy creating a great rumble, so it is a good digestive and that reaction is independent.

Summary: The weight is excellent at any one time, the balance is excellent, as is the complexity. The finish does tend to weaken towards the end leaving the flavours to the front of the pallet, but absent from the throat. It is a little ahead of the 12 year old RB and Mitchell's depending on personal preference for refined quality. It is completely safe and a good buy, though a bit expensive. For me, if I am to spend 115 Euros, I might go for one of Mitchell's Green Spot and one of Talisker for the same money or less. It is really good with casks that must have held good small batch spirit originally, but its not stunning in my view.
Probably among the 5 best Irish whiskeys and among the best 20 world wide.
Marks 92%
i
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:38 pm

centrefire wrote:Thats good Cathoch


I wonder could we discuss the issue of whether whiskey "goes off" or changes if left for long periods in the bottle. I have a little experience of this.


Centrefire



This has been discussed many a time in various places on the forum. However quickly ... a whiskey should last a very long time when the original sealed is intact ... I've opened many 30-40 year old bottles and they are fine but if the seal is not fully intact as cork can sometimes be there may be some oxidisation.

Opening a new bottle and it should easily last a year or 2 but the flavours do slowly diminish but it should not go off.


In relation to the Old Redbreast 12yo's I have seen quite a few of them in various pubs around the country too and I have also heard many people complain about the taste of bottles. However as Cathach says there was a period when IDL cancelled Gilbey's contract. But Gilbey's still had some of their own stocks. It is thought that some of these stocks were quite old and more than lightly over aged, the negative aspects of these old casks would have easily been blended out by large ratios of better & younger whiskey. In winding up Redbreast from Gilbey's side it is quite possible that the last batches of Redbreast had all sorts of casks vatted together and the fact they could not avail of any more cask from IDL the end product may not of been exactly up to scratch.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:47 pm

Thats very good. I remember the Dillon label said it was a blend of PPS and grain. But not sure about the Gilbeys. No harm to draw attention to it. Saw an old Powers 3 swallows label to - day. It said - "Pot still whiskey - Guaranteed Pure and unmixed with an other spirit." --

2 years ago I was asked to help clear out an out "store everything" room in the house of an old person who had left it. It was a dry bedroom originally. All dusty, old clothes etc, but dry and average temperature.

In a plastic shopping bag on the floor. I found a sealed bottle of Jameson in a box which was sealed and marked £13.99 in old money. So I reckon it was bought about 1993. There was also 3 small airline prastic bottles of Powers, Paddy and Jameson. There was a small plastic bottle of a Scorch blend (cant remember name)

Anyway: I was given all of them. Screw lids were intact.

All the whiskey was gone off. The Jameson which was in a standard glass bottle had a musty stale over sweat taste. The other were also over sweat, stale. I gave samples to 2 other people and they could not drink them either. I was suprised. I realy believe that the dusty conditions some how made its way into the bottle over the years. What do you think.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:36 pm

centrefire wrote:Anyway: I was given all of them. Screw lids were intact.

All the whiskey was gone off. The Jameson which was in a standard glass bottle had a musty stale over sweat taste. The other were also over sweat, stale. I gave samples to 2 other people and they could not drink them either. I was suprised. I realy believe that the dusty conditions some how made its way into the bottle over the years. What do you think.



That is quite interesting ... And after a bit of thought I reckon this may have to do with heating. I do believe that hot conditions can alter a whiskeys character. I purchased a bottle of whiskey once which I foolishly left in my car on a hot summers day. It was a cork top bottle and the cork popped of it's own accord because of the heat. Luckily the bottle was at such an angle that I did not lose much of the contents. However the remaining whiskey was not that nice, the taste had definitely altered. The only positive was that my car smelled of whiskey for weeks after :wink: Obviously the heating in a house would not be as severe but if these bottles were in a room over many years and they were being heated up and cooled down it is possible that this has a negative effect on taste. Just a guess but reckon it could well be a factor.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:30 am

It was a drafty old house with only open fires downstairs. There may have been a super sir gas fire in the room accasionally. I would not be suprised at the whiskey in the plastic bottles going off. However the Jameson bottle was glass and all of it was there. None escaped. I gave samples to 2 other people who could not drink it. It probably was drinkable but not enjoyable. They tried to make hot ones and got rid of it that way. I really examined the lid, but it was sealed before opening. I found a bottle of cod liver oil on the damp floor of an old shed yesterday, it smells ok. Did not drink it. Strange.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Pure Pot Head » Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:12 pm

I found a bottle of cod liver oil on the damp floor of an old shed yesterday, it smells ok. Did not drink it. Strange.



Maybe if you mixed the Jameson wih the Cod Liver Oil you'd get something very interesting (and healthy!) :)

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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:51 pm

Right.

It was meant to show that one substance was not affected while the other was. I still cannot figure why the whiskey went "off".
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:34 am

Does anyone know anything about a new label recently on the shelves? The company is Hot Irishman and they do an Irish Coffee bottling. However they also offer "The Irishman" 70 and it says its 30% Irish PPS married with 70% Irish malt. It does not say where it comes from, but if its from Irish Distillers it should be very interesting. There is no age statement and the lid is screw on. 40% ABV. Price just a little higher than Jameson. Does the "70" have any significance? Could it be 70 proof = to 40% abv?
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Aidan » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:50 am

It's Bushmills malt and Midleton pot still, I think. It's called Irishman 70 because of the 70% malt, I presume.

they also make a single malt (Bushmills, I suppose it has to be) and an cask strength, which is very nice but overpriced.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby RogerB » Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:45 pm

Bruichladdict wrote:I have been trying to get a straight answer about whether Redbreast 12 yo Pure Pot Still whisky is a blend or not. I have found that Wikipedia lists it as a non-blend, as do a number of Irish Whisky enthusiast sites. Whisky Mag lists it as a blend. Does anyone have a definitive answer to this question...I'm trying to decide if I want to try this stuff or not (i.e: buy a bottle in my language)...it seems everyone agrees is quite a good whisky.



Redbreast 12 is a fantastic Irish whiskey, but it isn't a single malt. Don't let that discourage you from trying it though, as it's one of the best Irish whiskeys available.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Pure Pot Head » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:55 am

Whisky Mag lists it as a blend.


I find it very odd and ill informed that Whisky Mag would list Redbreast as a blend. It's clearly not. It's neither a blend of Pot Still and Grain/Column Still Whiskey since there is no column still whiskey in it. Nor is it a blend of a whiskey made in one distillery mixed with a whiskey or whiskeys made in another. It's a Single Distillery Whiskey. So it's not a blend according to either of these definitions. However, it's different to a Single Malt because, in line with the predominant tradition of the major whiskey houses of Ireland, it uses malted and unmalted barley. The malted barley is your classic flavoursome constituent but what the unmalted barley brings is a creamy rich mouthfeel, a fuller substance and depth in the physical texture of the whiskey. If you eat a grain of malted barley it crumbles easily and it has a great taste in my opinion. Try biting into the unmalted barley and you'll immediately see the difference, very hard and not nearly as strong a taste. Just a sort of natural cereal taste. But you can see how it will impart that special characteristic in the whiskey. It's packed solid with oils and fibre. All the Midleton Whiskies, Jameson Powers, Paddy etc use to some extent Pure Pot Still, i.e. a malt and unmalted mash distilled in pot stills (a unique Irish method). Most of the Midleton Distillery whiskey ends up in a 'blend' with grain or column still spirit and this blending happens almost exclusively after maturation. Only Redbreast 12, Redbreast 15 and Greenspot are Pure Pot Stills which do not use ant grain component at all and are as close as one can get to the historical versions of Jameson and Powers (which in the past also use Oats and Wheat).

If one needs to use Scotch whisky as a reference point or a sort of prism through which to understand whiskey styles from other countries, then the single malt is the closest I would contend in technique to the Pure Pot Still primarily because of the lack of column still content and Single Distillery status but then, apart from the unmalted/malt combination you have whole other areas of difference in terms of triple as opposed to double distillation and smoke or peat free malting as opposed to smoked or peated malting. I think it's best to try to understand that the Pure Pot Still, The Single Malt and the Blend are three totally different ways of making whiskey derived from three very different traditions. It's a little like comparing apples to oranges to pears.

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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Aidan » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:49 am

Doesn't the enzyme content of the malted at least partially "malt" or liberate the sugars in the unmalted barley? I read this some time ago.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Pure Pot Head » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:11 pm

Doesn't the enzyme content of the malted at least partially "malt" or liberate the sugars in the unmalted barley?


Yes, I heard that too Aidan but I don't see that this makes any difference to the question as to why Whisky Mag classify Redbreast as a 'blend.'
The secondary 'malting' all happens within the wash before it goes into the wash still. Unless it has something to do with the fact that there are two types of Pot Still vatted together after maturation, bourbon matured Pot Still and sherry cask matured pot still! Don't single malts also vat varying cask types as well?

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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Pure Pot Head » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:16 pm

REDBREAST 12 YEARS OLD

Brand
Redbreast
Expression
12 Years Old
Type
Irish Whiskey / Blended
Age
12 Year Old
Abv
40.00%
Produced at
Old Midleton Distillery
Region
Ireland
Availability
Ireland, UK (Oddbins, Milroys of Soho )
Website
http://www.jamesonwhiskey.com
Where to buy
Buy Red Breast 12 Year Old for just �28.72 from Master of Malt

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Tasting Notes


Michael Jackson

Nose
Clean, fresh. hint of linseed. Nuts. Cake
Palate
By far the biggest of this selection. Assertive and complex, with lots of development and seemingly infinite dimension. Ginger cake, brazil nuts, treacle
Finish
Liquorice-like sherry notes
Comment
Delicious, soothing, contemplative. A great whiskey. Makes me want to get on a plane to Dublin immediately


Jim Murray

Nose
With Green Spot, the most impressive of Irish noses. There�s a fruity, almost rye-like quality, and deft, honeyed sweetness, a touch of sherry, cream soda vanilla and some peppery notes. Breathtaking
Palate
The flavours take off in all directions. Spiciness and a pot still backbone softened by sherry. Very firm with some toffee
Finish
Oily, some liquorice and enormous sweet-sour complexity. Spicy and long
Comment
Not quite perfect, but still an astonishing experience


I looked up Whisky Mag's info and they call it a blend. Who do I complain to :shock:

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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Aidan » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:22 pm

Pure Pot Head wrote:
Doesn't the enzyme content of the malted at least partially "malt" or liberate the sugars in the unmalted barley?


Yes, I heard that too Aidan but I don't see that this makes any difference to the question as to why Whisky Mag classify Redbreast as a 'blend.'
The secondary 'malting' all happens within the wash before it goes into the wash still. Unless it has something to do with the fact that there are two types of Pot Still vatted together after maturation, bourbon matured Pot Still and sherry cask matured pot still! Don't single malts also vat varying cask types as well?

Pure Pot Head


Yes they do.

I was really just adding this information. My point had nothing to do with its classification. I do not call pure pot still a blend. It's in a category of its own.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Alan Gold Label » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:28 pm

I've a casual whiskey drinking friend who recently announced to me that he's "finished" with blends and will be sticking to single malts.

I've to now explain to him and try to convince him the error of his ways. I got him a Crested Ten in a pub a while ago and he seemed to like it and he's a sweet spot for Black Bush so it might have just been something that he slipped out :p

Anyways, so there's blends and single malts (or the Greenore single grain) but there's also your pure pot stills which are essentially a different seperate category. Cheers for the information here guys, lots of good explanations :) I've been trying to read about the pure pot stills so I can make sense of them to pass on the knowledge.

Shame there's only the two pure pot stills. Here's hoping someday Cooley will take the punt and do one.



Does anyone know when or why Redbreast 12yr jumped from €35 to €45? O'Briens still have it at €35 but for how much longer? :(
For €35 it's gotta be the best Irish whiskey you can buy here. I don't think Greenspots worth the €45. I do like it, it's very moreish and I'll always get a drop of it in a bar if the price is below a fiver but 45quid for a bottle is a bit much imo.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Pure Pot Head » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:43 pm

I don't think Greenspots worth the €45. I do like it, it's very moreish and I'll always get a drop of it in a bar if the price is below a fiver but 45quid for a bottle is a bit much imo.


I don't believe a Greenspot, which is a Pure Pot Still but one without an age statement (not that that is always an indicator of quality but in this case they're both made by Jameson) should cost the same or more than a Redbreast 12. Greenspot is exceptionally rare outside of Ireland and within Ireland, Mitchell's control the brand to my knowledge so that is probably a factor.

As for blends I think there are two sub categories, those that a mix of whiskies from different distilleries, whatever the components, and those that are a mix of Pot Still and Column Still whiskey, even if from the same distillery.

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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Alan Gold Label » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:23 am

Yes I agreet Mr Pot Head. I think I saw Green Spot on Whiskey Exchange for £33 which would be about €36 give or take. If it was that in the shops I'd lap it up but alas no.

I was hoping to find some in Newry and maybe get it a good bit cheaper (Dunnes in Newry is about €28 for the Redbreast I think) but alas no, couldn't find it anywhere.
I shot off an email to Cooley enquiring about their supply in Newry and was told there's an independant retailer there that has good stock but looking at a map it's a bit out of town and I'd be relying on someone else for transport.


The price of whiskey is just weird how it fluctuates. Crested Ten is often near the 30mark and Black Bush floats around about 28quid and then you have the inimitable Redbreast at 35 in O'Briens. Can't imagine it'll stay at 35 too long surely though? I'm half tempted to write them a begging letter pleading with them not to raise the price but it's bound to happen. Feck all competition when it comes to the price of Irish whiskey , or any spirits for that matter.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:52 am

I'd say O'Brien's are selling Redbreast stock they hand before IDL put the price up. It wasn't the retailers' decision to put the price up.
Last edited by Aidan on Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Alan Gold Label » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:40 pm

Ah, I see. So I'd better get bulk buyin' then? :lol:
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby michael Foggarty » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:49 pm

I think Greenspot is marketed by IDL in Ireland outside of Dublin, there was talk of it getting launched in Canada also.


Shame there's only the two pure pot stills.


There is another coming shortly keep your eyes open but it wont be available in Newry! (dont get me started on cross border shopping!)

this blending happens almost exclusively after maturation


The CWS Midleton was a blend of grain and pps in the barrel.
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:04 pm

So was the Midleton 1967.

Looking forward to the CWS pure pot still. Do you have any details on it yet?
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby michael Foggarty » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:21 pm

ye the big news is it will be in a box, which should mean we can charge about 50 grand a bottle
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby Alan Gold Label » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:56 pm

michael Foggarty wrote:but it wont be available in Newry! (dont get me started on cross border shopping!)



No, please, start away :)
£16 for Crested Ten
about £25 for Jameson 12yr
£30 for a litre of Glenfiddich 12yr......

:iwbrnt:
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Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?

Postby centrefire » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:24 am

In relation to blends of malt and grain. I would recommend to try a 100% grain whiskey like Greenore or Girvan. If you like it as good or better than barley stuff, then a blend may be for you. Personally, I find grain very consistant, but watery and without that satisfying succulent quality of malt or Irish PPS. So, as most blends contain up to 60% grain, I will choose the malt/PPS one. However, there is often no choice in pubs etc. And some blends are ok. You need to sample plenty. I find William Grant very good in the economy bracket. It is possible that a grain spirit made in a patient still could be very good. i.e. if a batch were made entirely (or mostly) from the feints similar to a malt distillers reserve. In general the grain is intended to add consistent volume without out-performing the malt.

Mitchel's Green spot can be bought @ c £36 sterling in some border off- licences, best to ring around. Fella I know found it in somewhere in Fermanagh. Its expensive. It is the only Pure Pot Still Irish after Redbreast. The quality appears high, (probably standard middle run mixed with feints run) aging is in about 25% sherry butts. Taste is of anniseed, unsweatened homemade bread, rolled barley crackely menthol. The thing is @ 8 year old it is something like the whiskey of our grandfathers. (though probably a tad finer). Its nicely weighted an balanced without that watery grain found in the cheaper pot still/grain blends. The 2 Pure Pot Stills are complements to good malts and US whiskey rather than better or worse.

40% malt provides the sugar and enzines to convert the starch in the unmalted grain to fermentable sugars. The resulting beer is distilled in pot goose necked stills and bottled as is. Same as rye or bourbon. PPS is not a blend, but a unique style of whiskey traditionally produced in Ireland before blending with grain became the norm. (I thing about the 1960's) (not sure on time).
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