Very embarrassingly, I have had this review done up since December and forgot to publish it!!! Apologies!!
The Palace Bar is located on Fleet Street just a few hundred meters from Temple Bar and it’s honestly one of the finest establishments in Ireland. Even with its location, it ain’t a rip off. The selection of whiskey is phenomenal with over 300 bottles to choose from. The bar staff all have a great knowledge of whiskey and without fail, are a bit of craic, banter and will have a chat with you if its quiet. And this is all before we look at the splendid decor. A Victorian pub, it oozes class both upstairs and downstairs. In their own press release here, they describe the palace as having been “established in 1823 and remains one of the city’s finest untainted, unspoilt and unperturbed original Victorian pubs. The décor is the same as greeted customers over 190 years ago, and it is this deference to craft, character and atmosphere that gives the Palace Bar its unique place in Irish history.” Very few pubs can have this character. Its character that’s built over the years by not only the owners, but by the staff and the customers and characters that occupy it.
The Palace, like most Dublin bars with that kind of history, once bought their own casks and bottled their own whiskey in house until IDL was formed and they eventually stopped the practice of supplying casks and opted to bottle themselves in house. But in 2012 The Palace once again bottled their own whiskey and went on to bottle 3 more under the Palace Bar name. They were back and pushing Irish Whiskey as the golden era of Irish Whiskey was begining.
In general the Palace is my go to pub when I go to Dublin. I never fail to make it into the Palace for at least a small one. And Willie Aherne, the owner, has never failed to look after any groups I bring in there. Most recently at Whiskey Live when we had an unofficial after party there that literally packed the place to capacity!
Now chatting to Willie that weekend he told me that their newest whiskey, this Redbreast Single Cask was so good it was the dogs……actually I better not finish that!!! Lets just say that Willie is firmly in the camp of this being one of the best Redbreast Single Casks on the market. And you know what? It is. Bottled at a beautiful 59.7% and 17 years old, it retails for €350 in the bar or you can purchase a measure for €25. Now we could harp on all day about the price, but I doubt The Palace Bar had much input into that. Not with the prices we are seeing for other Redbreast Single Casks on the market. Is it time for Irish Whiskey producers to look at their pricing? I think so. But then again I also think we are getting fleeced on excise and VAT rates too!! Anyway, no need to rant, I know ye all agree with me. So, onto the whiskey.
Nose – Rich and lush with a rush of alcohol that tickles your nose. A belter of a nose on this. I’d happily sit here all day sniffing it! Christmas cake in abundance. Raisins, icing sugar, nutmeg, almonds and dark chocolate are all very evident. With more time some coffee notes come out along with some ginger.
Palate – A thick creamy and oily mouth feel that also has the characteristic Pot Still spice. This is bursting with flavour! Not as much heat as expected from such a high ABV. Back to Christmas cake with raisins, cloves, figs and a little almond nuttiness.
Finish – Long lingering and delightful. Sweet like treacle yet a slight bitterness lurking in there in a dark chocolate kind of way. Actually a wee coffee note now too. Maybe a slight banana note and even some sweet ripe grapes. Man this is complex to a point of madness.
Overall – Man o man are these single cask redbreasts fantastic. Leaving the big prices aside and going on the liquid, its just divine. A small drop of water mutes the heat and lifts all the sweetness that’s in the glass so do try it both neat and with just a few drops of water. Personally…..I think this is one of the very best Redbreast Single Casks on the market at the moment! Highly recommended.
A sample of this whiskey was provided free of charge to the author. No monetary reward was received for the review. The review, as with all our reviews, was written subjectively and not influenced in anyway.