Redbreast Dream Cask. It has fast become THE release of the year in Irish whiskey. The 32 year old, launched in 2018, is one of the best whiskeys you will ever try. Period. Last year we saw the 20 year old PX sell out in minutes and now this year, we have a 28 year old Redbreast with a Ruby Port influence. Ruby Port I hear you say……yes, that’s correct. It’s a questionable release if I’m honest with the Redbreast 27yo having been launched back in February. This is a year older but in a smaller bottle for the same price. So the question will be…..is the trade off worth it? Well I guess the only way to check that is to taste it and do a comparison! The good folks at Irish Distillers have indeed given me a wee sample pack for the latest Dream Cask so this afternoon, I intend on taking some time with both whiskeys and hope to have a write up for you on Sunday or Monday.
Until then, have a read below of their press release. I must say, I am delighted that they have went down the route of a ballot. It’s a fair way and it goes somewhat closer to stopping those who wish to do nothing but flip the bottles from getting one or many!
Today, Redbreast Irish Whiskey, which is produced by Irish Distillers at its world-renowned Midleton Distillery in Cork, announced the release of its third limited edition Dream Cask to mark World Whisky Day. Inspired by the flavours of the Iberian Peninsula, Redbreast Dream Cask Ruby Port Edition is the first Redbreast expression to be fully finished in a single port cask, taking whiskey drinkers on a journey from the home of Irish whiskey to Portugal’s wine region.
The inspiration for the 28-year-old Dream Cask began during trials for Redbreast 27 Year Old – the oldest permanent expression in the Redbreast family. During this time, the Midleton Masters discovered a liquid worthy of the Dream Cask name which uniquely comprises both a ruby port cask component and finish.
Created by Master Blender Billy Leighton, in collaboration with Blender Dave McCabe, Redbreast Dream Cask Ruby Port is the culmination of four extraordinary whiskey journeys dating back more than 30 years, which were set aside during the crafting of Redbreast 27 year old. Aged for a minimum of 28 years in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels, an oloroso sherry butt and a ruby port seasoned cask, these exceptional liquids were then married in the ruby port cask to mature further as a single Dream Cask.
The result is a smooth and silky Irish Whiskey with notes of assertive spices, dark chocolate and cinnamon which slowly reveal a luxurious layer of sweet ripe plums and exotic fruits reminiscent of the signature Redbreast style. Bottled at 51.5%, the ruby port cask finish further contributes notes of raisins, sultanas and berries, adding an extra layer of depth and complexity. It is this final marrying phase which also gives the expression an intense mahogany colour.
Master Blender Billy Leighton explains: “It is more than three decades since my predecessors went to the Douro Valley and hand selected the cask which would become Redbreast Dream Cask 2020. I’m delighted to be able to share its creation with whiskey lovers around the world”.
“Our third Dream Cask was created with a very significant fortified wine component. This imparts a unique balance of flavours, with less vanilla sweetness and more fleshy fruits than are associated with port”.
Blender Dave McCabe adds: “Because a Dream Cask is not constrained by volume, we have great licence to select unique expression with a bold flavour which couldn’t be replicated in a permanent offering. Thankfully Billy and I were in absolute agreement that this was the right time to release this year’s Dream Cask”.
Redbreast Dream Cask Ruby Port Edition will be available exclusively through an online ballot hosted on Redbreast’s private members’ club, The Birdhouse. The ballot will be live from 15:00 (GMT+1) on Monday, May 25th until 14:59 (GMT +1) on June 2nd when successful participants will be given an opportunity to purchase a 500ml bottle for €490.
Official Tasting notes
Nose: Initially abundant with herbs and spices, some lighter notes of rosemary and garden mint combining with cedar and red peppers. Some zesty citrus notes develop into a rich compote of ripe fleshy fruit, melon, kiwi and black cherry on top of marcona almonds. The spicy sweetness of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg acknowledge the contribution of the oak cask.
Taste: A very rich silky mouthful of assertive spices combined with sweet ripe plums. Dark chocolate and cinnamon notes slowly reveal a luxurious layer of ripe dark fruits which combine with raisins, sultanas and exotic fruits and berries which are typical of the Redbreast style.
Finish: The signature Redbreast mix of fruit and spice is slow to fade.
Redbreast Dream Cask Ruby Port Edition represents four unique whiskeys which were aged for a minimum of 28 years and then vatted together and left to marry in the ruby port pipe cask. These include:
- Cask 1- a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1989, matured in an ex-bourbon barrel and re-casked into a ruby port cask in 1995.
- Cask 2- a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1991, matured in a second-fill ex-bourbon barrel.
- Cask 3- a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1991, matured in a second-fill ex-bourbon barrel.
- Cask 4- a single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1991, matured in an ex-bourbon barrel and re-casked into a sherry butt in 2011.