Saturday, July 30, 2011

Redbreast 12 year


Color: copper – polished and new. Lighter along the edges with sun-baked straw and hay.

Nose: spiced and hot. Raw oats and rye seeds. Cut hay with hints of honey. Copper. Ghostly apple esters. Dry fall leaves. Green grape skins. Pears.

Body: oily, thin along the edges, with an intense punch of flavor in the middle and finish. Heavy and sticky in the middle; juicy sweet.

Palate: rich, hot, and intense. Red apples, green pears and green grapes. Kiwi. Spicy heat in the back – white hot embers. Lingering sweetness of fresh maple mulled and spiced. Honeycomb equally mulled and spiced. Delicate and sophisticated.

Finish: long sweet and sticky, then spicy sweet. Copper comes back to play in the finish, polished and sharp. Progresses from assertive to delicate.

Pot stills were once the preferred (and only) method of distilling the fine Irish spirit known as whiskey, but now the pot still exists as a relic in the shadows of history. But! Even if modern times have forgotten the still, I have not and neither have the fine folks of Irish Distillers (subsidiary of Pernod Ricard). The fact that a huge monolithic spirits giant as Pernod Ricard recognizes and respects the quality of Redbreast is almost enough to curb the cynicism of this artisanal-loving corporate-bashing advocate…almost. Thankfully the proof is in the whiskey and Redbreast was a sensorial delight the likes of which I will enjoy over and over again. In savoring her dram, I could smell the lush green rolling hills of Ireland while tasting of her past both glorious and stained in bloody tears restored by gritty hope and stubborn faith.

The 12 year is a common occurrence, but there also exists a mythical 15 year at 46% versus 40% for the 12 year. Mythical or not, it will be mine someway, somehow, someday. Even if just once… In the meantime, I think I shall have another.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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