Showing posts with label Redbreast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Redbreast. Show all posts

Thursday, October 26, 2023


Whiskey Press Releases 





Jameson, the world’s bestselling and most awarded Irish whiskey is delighted to presentJameson Remixed Caribbean Beats, an extraordinary 21 year old Irish whiskey aged entirely in rum seasoned casks. Jameson Remixed Caribbean Beats is the newest addition to The Jameson Anthology, and it explores brand new flavours from Jameson for an altogether different take on the classic Irish icon. It follows Jameson 15 Year Old Single Pot Still, which launched last year to celebrate the spirit of classic discontinued whiskeys, as part of the Jameson Anthology.  

Representing a truly exceptional interpretation of Jameson Irish Whiskey, Jameson Remixed Caribbean Beats is a blend of single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys that were initially laid down in rum casks sourced from the Caribbean island of Barbados more than two decades ago. Eighteen years later, Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman was curious to explore how a second style of rum might impact the flavour of the liquid and decided to age the whiskey for a further three years in Selección de Maestros Havana Club rum seasoned casks, which imparted an especially rich rum contribution.  

Fully aged for 21 years in the rum seasoned casks, the grain whiskey picked up sweetness in the form of brown sugar and vanilla, while the pot still took on fruit flavours of orange zest and mango. This rare expression retains a clear reference to Jameson’s unmistakably smooth DNA through its balance of grain and pot still whiskeys, yet it is elevated to new heights with its exceptional aging, thanks to the experimental minds of Jameson’s masters and makers at Midleton Distillery. 

Presented in recyclable packaging, this unique whiskey offers warming spices and flavours of chocolate dipped honeycomb, citrus and coconut shavings. The grain whiskey’s soft and elegant presence gains additional vibrancy from many years of ageing in rum-seasoned casks, paying homage to Irish, Caribbean and Cuban craftsmanship, while putting a new spin on the world’s most celebrated Irish whiskey. 

Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman comments: “Excited by a 2001 trial with Caribbean rum casks, through innovation, careful craft and over two decades of maturation, we worked to marry two traditional spirits together – Irish whiskey and rum – and in doing so, found the sweet spot where the rhythm of the Caribbean meets the beat of the Irish drum. We can’t wait for whiskey enthusiasts to experience Jameson Remixed Caribbean Beats.”

Brewing and Distilling Specialist, Angela Coral Medina adds: “Jameson Remixed Caribbean Beats embodies the craft and quality for which Jameson has always been renowned. Maturation in rum casks creates a delicious and unique flavour that brings together spice, earthiness, and sweetness, while complimenting the traditional fragrant, floral and fruity notes that are synonymous within the much loved Jameson style of whiskey.” 

Bottled at an ABV of 46%, Jameson Remixed Caribbean Beats is priced at RRP €280 per 500ml bottle, with a limited quantity of 2,900 bottles available exclusively online via from 12 pm on Thursday, 26th October, with shipping from 9th November.*   

Tasting notes:
Nose: Warming spices accompanied by figs, toasted almonds, muscovado sugar, and coconut shavings. The pot still spices are accentuated by the rum seasoned oak adding notes of ginger and candied fruits which complement the grain whiskey’s floral character that gently lingers in the background allowing the rum influences to shine through, adding vanilla, tobacco leaf and cacao nibs.

Taste: Luscious and sweet at first with notes of chocolate dipped honeycomb, orange zest, and mango. Spices of cinnamon and nutmeg with dustings of white pepper add a mild intensity, working in balance with the herbal and earthy qualities creating further complexity. The grain whiskey’s soft and elegant presence brings additional zest and vibrancy from the many years of ageing in the rum-seasoned casks while the pot still-driven fruits and sweetness have been further amplified. 

Finish: Long and lasting with the fruits and sweet spices lingering for a time before slowly fading, allowing the oak and rum seasoning to have the final say.



Best of Irish Whiskey and Best of French Oak


Irish Distillers, maker of some of the world’s most loved whiskeys, is delighted to introduce Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais. This first-of-its-kind whiskey represents the pinnacle of excellence and rarity in the world of Irish whiskey as it showcases the harmonious fusion of Irish and French luxury and craftsmanship.

Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais is the result of a visionary collaboration that began in 2017. In search of the perfect cask to enhance and complement Midleton’s portfolio of exceptional whiskeys, Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman and his team from Midleton Distillery embarked on a cask procurement trip to France. Exploring the Tronçais forest, they discovered the rare and sought-after T5 oak cask, renowned for its fine grain and delicate flavours, which O’Gorman was convinced would add a new dimension to the subtle aromatics in the renowned Midleton Very Rare Irish whiskey family.

Exemplifying the artistry, expertise, and tradition of Midleton Distillery, a bespoke batch of very special Midleton single grain and single pot still whiskeys matured over decades spanning the 1980s-2000s in American bourbon barrels were selected and carefully filled into T5 casks, which were left to mature under O’Gorman’s watchful eye. 

After three long years, he declared it a whiskey par excellence. Combining these wonderful grain and pot still distillate styles, the result is an elegant and refined whiskey that gracefully delivers notes of poached pears, caramelised apples, and honeycomb, all elevated by the subtle influence of the Tronçais oak.

Kevin O'Gorman, Master Distiller at Midleton Distillery, comments: "We may have created 'the Pinnacle of Irish Whiskey' with Midleton Very Rare, but we are constantly driven by the desire to push boundaries and create something new. Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais represents our relentless pursuit of perfection and innovation while staying true to the unmistakable Midleton character and DNA, as we introduce some of the world’s finest oak to produce an outstanding and elegant Midleton expression."

Midleton Distillery's collaboration with Taransaud cooperage, who are world renowned for their expertise in cask-making, further emphasises the craftsmanship behind this extraordinary release. Acclaimed for their meticulous attention to detail, Taransaud carefully monitored the natural air drying of the T5 oak staves over a five-year period, preparing them to infuse the best of Midleton whiskeys with unique aromas, flavours and tannins that carry the distinct characteristics of the Tronçais oak.

Jacquelin de Pracomtal, Vice President at Taransaud adds, “We are immensely proud to be part of this historic collaboration that showcases the utmost rarity and excellence in both Irish whiskey and French coopering. Our dedication is reflected in each T5 oak cask that was used to infuse the whiskey with its distinct characteristics. We love to collaborate with the finest brands in their field and the Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais embodies exclusivity and our ‘par excellence’ approach to our craft. We are honoured to have contributed to its creation.”

To celebrate the essence of Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais, the whiskey is presented in an exclusively designed bottle & cabinet with handcrafted intricate details. The bottle colour is inspired by the Midleton duck egg blue colour which features on the orchid in the Midleton logo. 

The cabinet, created by Manufacture Jacquemin, a third-generation traditional woodcrafts business based in the Jura Mountains in Eastern France, is made from fine oak from the Tronçais forest and features laser-cut illustrations that pay homage to the enchanting French woodland and its role in this whiskey's unique story.

The Forêt de Tronçais forest, established in the 1600s to sustainably supply oak for shipbuilding, holds historical significance and continues to be managed with utmost care and respect, following a regular forestry cycle that allows for natural regeneration and preservation of its ecosystem.

Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais is bottled at 48% ABV and will be available in select markets including Ireland, USA, Northern Ireland, Global Travel Retail, France, UK, China, Hong Kong and online to order from the 13th of October from 12pm at the RRP of €5,000 / $5,000 / £4,400.

Limited to just 1,380 bottles for its initial release, Midleton Very Rare Forêt de Tronçais will be made available on an ongoing basis, subject to the availability of this rare liquid as the years progress.

Shop online: /
IG: @MidletonVeryRare



Celebrating the newly reopened Midleton Distillery Experience, the expression will be exclusively available from Irish Distillers’ brand homes; Midleton Distillery Experience and Jameson Distillery Bow Street

Redbreast Irish Whiskey, produced by Irish Distillers – maker of some of the world’s best-known and successful whiskeys – is excited to unveil a new and exclusive expression, Redbreast 10-Year-Old Distillery Edition. Paying homage to Midleton Distillery, from which it is so meticulously crafted, the new Redbreast expression will be exclusively available at Irish Distillers’ brand homes; the newly reopened Midleton Distillery Experience, Cork and Jameson Distillery Bow Street, Dublin.
Designed and crafted by Master Blender, Billy Leighton, alongside Blender, Dave McCabe, Redbreast 10-Year-Old Distillery Edition is a reimagining of Gilbey’s historic 10-year-old expression, last produced 50 years ago and the more recent 2021 Redbreast 10-Year-Old limited edition release that marked 30 years since the resurrection of Redbreast Irish Whiskey by Irish Distillers.  Redefining Redbreast 10-Year-Old, the new whiskey is composed of three exceptional distillates. By combining light, medium and traditional or ‘heavy’ single pot still distillates, this new expression honours the DNA of each member of the Redbreast family. The inclusion of the traditional pot still at the relatively younger age of 10 years, adds a robust, spicy and full-bodied character to the liquid.
The three distillate styles have been matured across four different cask types. American bourbon barrels and sherry casks give the liquid familiar Redbreast flavours that consumers have come to know and love as the former imparts sweet caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, and clove, while the latter provides sumptuous dried fruit notes of sultanas along with a nutty character. Redbreast fans will recognise, from previous releases, the inclusion of Pedro Ximénez sherry casks in this new expression, driving up the juicy dried fruit characteristics of the whiskey, while the addition of virgin European oak casks heighten and intensify the vanilla and wood spice notes.
Leighton notes, “By using the full range of distillates alongside traditional barrels, those reserved for limited-edition Redbreast offerings and the new introduction of virgin oak, the liquid serves as a homage to the full breadth of craft and flavour within the Redbreast family. Redbreast 10-Year-Old Distillery Edition showcases not only the journey that the Redbreast brand has been on to date but also foreshadows the unique tastes and flavours that are yet to come as the single pot still renaissance continues.”
Located on the grounds of the heart and soul of Irish whiskey and carefully conserving many old distillery buildings dating as far back as 1794, the Midleton Distillery Experience has recently undergone extensive redevelopment and has been transformed into a world-class, multi-sensory Irish whiskey experience with the potential to welcome more than 200,000 domestic and international visitors annually. Featuring new and immersive whiskey tours, tastings, and experiences incorporating all seven of Irish Distillers’ whiskey brands including Redbreast, Midleton Very Rare, Jameson, Powers, The Spot Whiskeys, Method and Madness, and Knappogue Castle, the attraction will further cement Midleton’s reputation as a world-class whiskey destination.
Blender, Dave McCabe, comments: “It's an honour for me to be part of Redbreast’s remarkable journey of success as it continues to flourish. What better way to pay tribute to this than by creating a liquid to celebrate the newly refurbished Midleton Distillery Experience, where the brand’s rich past, present, and future are showcased alongside those of Irish Distillers other remarkable Irish whiskey families?”
Bottled at 43% ABV, Redbreast 10-Year-Old Distillery Edition is available from the newly re-opened Midleton Distillery Experience in Cork and Jameson Distillery Bow Street in Dublin at RRP of €120 or €125 for a personalised bottle.

Full tasting notes:
Aroma Opens with a rich medley of aromas including dark berry fruits and vibrant citrus zest, along with toasted almonds, hazelnut, and chocolate. The oak-driven influence of this wonderfully complex whiskey adds waves of sweet-scented vanilla with a perfumed balsamic wood note that complements and heightens the pot still spices accompanied by liquorice and herbal undertones.
Taste: Luscious and full-bodied with creamy vanilla surrounded by forest fruits of sweet cherries, blackcurrants, and blackberries. The pot still spices and herbal notes build over time adding subtle nuances of peppermint with a delicate touch of anise and grated ginger, while the wine-seasoned oak casks carefully impart soft tannins, giving balance to the fruits and spices.
Finish: The pot still spices remain for a time, before finally yielding to the oak and woodland fruits that continue to gently linger until the very end.

For more information about the Midleton Distillery Experience visit



Eagerly awaited second limited-edition release in Redbreast Irish Whiskey’s award winning Iberian Series is unveiled

Redbreast Irish Whiskey, produced by Irish Distillers at its world-renowned Midleton Distillery in Co. Cork, Ireland, has introduced Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition, a limited-edition single pot still Irish whiskey finished in tawny port casks from Portugal’s breath-taking Douro Valley.  
Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition marks the third release of the brand’s acclaimed Iberian Series. The series is inspired by Redbreast’s long-standing connection to some of the Iberian Peninsula’s most celebrated cooperages and winemakers, combining the craft and rich heritage of the region with the excellence of Midleton Distillery’s single pot still whiskeys to create expressions that are truly extraordinary. Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is the second limited edition to join the series, following the 2021 release of Redbreast Pedro Ximénez Edition, and permanent expression and series anchor, Redbreast Lustau Edition.

Expertly created by esteemed Master Blender Billy Leighton and Blender Dave McCabe, Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is a single pot still Irish whiskey initially matured in a combination of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. To add a new dimension to the flavour profile, a portion of these maturing whiskeys were re-casked into tawny port casks for a number of years. All of the whiskeys were then skilfully blended and completed their maturation journey by marrying in freshly seasoned tawny port hogsheads for a final maturation period of 14-25 months.
The resulting Irish whiskey combines notes of praline, buttery baked goods and dried cherries from the earlier tawny port influence, followed by a warming sweetness of toasted caramel and vanilla carried through from the bourbon and an added depth of dried fruits from the sherry. The final maturation period in newly procured tawny port casks elevates the nutty character further and provides a sweet finish for a rich, full-bodied whiskey.
The inspiration for Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition started over 12 years ago, when Leighton took a trip to the Douro Valley in Portugal to visit some of Midleton Distillery’s partner cooperages and winemakers.

Reflecting on the trip, Leighton shares: “Enjoying lunch with the late renowned winemaker Joaquim Anacleto and Gesprove Winemaker José Pinheiro overlooking the valley, we were discussing the various wines and spirits that had influenced our whiskeys over the years and tawny port came up in conversation. Having worked with Ruby Port previously, we pondered the differences tawny port holds and subsequently the intriguing flavour profile that it could add to our whiskeys. Since then, we have been ageing single pot still whiskey in a small number of tawny port casks we receive annually from this beautiful sun drenched valley and, needless to say, we have been delighted with the results.”
Blender, Dave McCabe adds: “The combination of ageing some of the liquid in tawny port casks for a longer period, and re-casking all of the whiskey in tawny port hogsheads for its final maturation is what makes this expression so special. The flavour profile of Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is in keeping with the recognisable Redbreast family DNA, yet provides an exciting twist from another part of the Iberian Peninsula. And each subsequent expression in the series will represent a new discovery from this rich region, which to date has greatly influenced the Redbreast style over the course of its history.”
Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is bottled at 46% and will be available from 18 September in the USA, Ireland, UK, China, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Global Travel and online at the RRP of €100, £79, $100.
IG: @RedbreastIrishWhiskey   #RedbreastTawnyPort    #PassItOn
Link to purchase from 18th September

Tasting Notes:
Aroma: Sweet and warming confectionery notes of buttered pastry accompanied by aromas of caramelised almonds with subtle undertones of praline and dried cherry. Scented floral honey with whisperings of a delicate herbal character linger in the background while the seasoned oak and pot still spices accentuate the sweet and full-bodied nature of this wonderfully balanced whiskey.
Taste: Rich and nutty at first with notes of chocolate coated hazelnut and salted caramel, quickly followed with fresh plums and dried fig.  The tannins’ soft presence works in harmony with the luscious and creamy texture, evoking notes of orange marmalade with delicate hints of toasted oak.
Finish: Lingering finish which sees the pot still spices and fruits slowly fading, leaving the tawny seasoned oak to have the last word.

Whiskey Press Releases

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Redbreast Tawny Port Edition, One for my short list!

One for my short list!

Redbreast Tawny Port Edition 46% ABV

This eagerly awaited Redbreast Tawny Port Edition was recently launched and glad to say I got my hands on a wee sample. I haven't seen any independent reviews, but I was delighted with it; it may well be my Whiskey of the Year. 

Midleton's finest Single Pot Still Whiskey infused with the rich flavours of port wine makes for a truly unforgettable experience. I have a birthday coming up and Christmas won't be too far behind; my list will be brief, just the one item each time. Now you know!

Whiskey tasting notes can be even more convoluted than those of wine so I’ll give you the shortcut version. It is smooth from aroma to finalé. Croisannt and almond on the nose and a wee squeeze of honey also. On the palate, it is again smooth even if there is a tiny little hint of burn (a tiny drop of water cures that); it is rich (think ripe figs) with a streak of smooth limoncello. Spices linger at the smooth finish, vanilla, the fruit still prominent. Great to be back in Porto!

This Port Edition has been expertly created by esteemed Master Blender Billy Leighton and Blender Dave McCabe and is another expression from the Redbreast Iberian Series. RRP: €100.00

It is a single pot still Irish whiskey, initially matured in a combination of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. To add a new dimension to the flavour profile, a portion of these maturing whiskeys were re-casked into tawny port casks for a number of years. All of the whiskeys were then skilfully blended and completed their maturation journey by marrying in freshly seasoned tawny port hogsheads for a final maturation period of 14-25 months.

The Iberian series is inspired by Redbreast’s long-standing connection to some of the Iberian Peninsula’s most celebrated cooperages and winemakers, combining the craft and rich heritage of the region with the excellence of Midleton Distillery’s single pot still whiskeys to create expressions that are truly extraordinary. Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is the second limited edition to join the series, following the 2021 release of Redbreast Pedro Ximénez Edition, and permanent expression and series anchor, Redbreast Lustau Edition.

Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition is bottled at 46% and is now available in the USA, Ireland, UK, China, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Global Travel and online at the RRP of €100, £79, $100.

IG: @RedbreastIrishWhiskey   #RedbreastTawnyPort    #PassItOn


Wednesday, May 17, 2023


The annual Redbreast Dream Cask release is now upon us.

A limited-edition single pot still Irish whiskey with Ruby Port, Bourbon and Tawny Port influence is revealed as the sixth iteration in the Redbreast Dream Cask Series.

Redbreast Irish Whiskey, produced by Irish Distillers at its world-renowned Midleton Distillery in Co. Cork, is excited to announce the release of its highly anticipated sixth edition in the Dream Cask series, Redbreast Dream Cask Port to Port Edition.

Designed and crafted by Master Blender, Billy Leighton, this limited-edition 27-year-old single pot still Irish whiskey is a true masterpiece, bringing an innovative twist to the Redbreast Dream Cask family. Enlisting the support of Blender, Dave McCabe, the pair knew that only the most exceptional aged whiskeys would be capable of creating the perfect sixth expression in the series to preserve the coveted Redbreast Dream Cask legacy and reward loyal Redbreast advocates.

To create this exquisite whiskey, Leighton and McCabe carefully selected two casks from the Midleton inventory. After starting their life separately in bourbon and ruby port casks and ageing for 27 and 28 years respectively, the two exceptional whiskeys were then married together for a final three-month maturation period in two tawny port casks, creating an extraordinary liquid, worthy of carrying the Redbreast Dream Cask name.

Leighton notes: “The two single pot still whiskeys which had been maturing separately were already an outstanding pairing, but the marrying period in the tawny port casks elevated the expression to new heights. The tawny port influence adds notes of baked goods, toasted nuts, and sweet almond, overall making for a complex, full bodied final liquid.”

This unique new release is the first in the series where none of the fortified wine cask influence is derived from a sherry cask. However, the Redbreast DNA still shines through with a strong bourbon influence and the style of ruby port used. Both are then further enhanced by the elegant contribution of the tawny port casks.
Dave McCabe added: “The traditional Redbreast style is mostly associated with the influence of sherry. Saying that, we took inspiration from the popularity of the port cask inclusion in Redbreast 27 Year Old, and decided to push the boundary a little bit further. By using two types of port casks for this year’s Dream Cask, we created a whiskey with a medium spice intensity along with distinctive wine driven characteristics.

We felt a three month finish in the tawny port casks was the optimal time needed, adding new layers of complexity to the whiskey. At the same time, we were conscious of preserving the individual characteristics that these two liquids had gained from their original maturation journeys.”

In March 2023, after an extraordinary journey, the final liquid was bottled, marking the sixth iteration of the series. Standing as a testament to Leighton and McCabe’s dedicated craftsmanship and vast knowledge, Redbreast Dream Cask Port to Port Edition is a captivating, full-bodied Irish whiskey, that provides a complete sensory experience with a complex nose, taste, and finish that any whiskey lover would be thrilled to experience.

Available through an online ballot hosted on Redbreast’s online members’ club The Birdhouse opening on May 22nd at a RRP of €580. A ballot will also be held at Whiskey Live Dublin, where one person per session will have the opportunity to purchase a bottle of Redbreast Dream Cask Port to Port Edition, along with an overnight stay in Castlemartyr Resort for two, transfers to and from Midleton Distillery and a behind the scenes experience at Midleton Distillery with the Redbreast blenders.

Bottled at 56.3% ABV, the casks yielded 870 of the 500ml bottles, each presented in a keepsake book, made from recyclable cardboard, detailing the latest instalment in the Dream Cask journey.

Tasting Notes
Nose: An intense burst of flavour with cassis, stone fruits, and citrus peel to the fore while notes of dried figs and dates along with sweet black cherry slowly tip toe into the medley of flavours. The heavy and medium pot still whiskeys add vibrant and robust aromas of white pepper and clove spice while herbal notes of lemon verbena and thyme weave amongst the nutty praline and baked confectionery that the port seasoning brings to this exquisite whiskey.
Taste: Luscious and textured with medium spice intensity and a balanced oak tannin contribution. Toasted almonds and cacao nibs with a mild earthy character are complemented by the dried fruits and red berry compote. The pot still spices build adding a mild heat of chilli flakes while the influences drawn from the ruby and tawny port continue to provide an abundance of flavour, working in tandem with the toasted European oak.
Finish: Rich and lasting, with the pot still spices the first to slowly fade allowing the wine seasoned oak and fruits to have the final say. 

press release


Sunday, February 26, 2023

Cork Whiskey Festival Launched At The Shelbourne Bar

Cork Whiskey Festival Launched

 At The Shelbourne Bar

Midleton Whiskey Ambassador Ger Garland at the launch.

“It is going to be the best Whiskey Festival in the country,” declared Laurie O’Dwyer at the launch of the Cork Whiskey Festival in the Shelbourne Bar last Thursday night.

Laurie, co-founder and co-director of the festival with his wife Sonya, has the credentials for running such a festival. His Whiskey Chats Podcast  is now up and around the 180th episode and provided “a really good network” to help get the Festival off the ground.

Laurie: Going to be the best! Pic via CWF.

“Thirty four events over three days will see the cream of the crop in  Cork. Over half the tickets have been sold, a big surprise to us at this stage. Now we’ll be putting a big push on to make it a sellout and make it the best festival in the country.”

Laurie had a big thank you for the evening’s host: “We couldn’t have done it without the Shelbourne Bar and Phillip. And of course Irish Malts and Midleton Distillers. major sponsors. Check it all out on the website".

The Shelbourne Bar is the official Social Hub and info point for Cork Whiskey Fest 2023. "Whenever you want to chill out, meet with new friends or catch up with old friends, The Shelbourne is where you will find your fellow festival attendees and our info desk."

Ger Garland

Ger Garland, Whiskey Ambassador for Midleton,  admitted to being amazed at the growth of the whiskey industry in Ireland. “When I started there were just 3 distillers, now there are 48.” And he had news from Midleton where a new distillery (representing an investment of around a quarter of a billion) will be ready for 2025, "totally carbon neutral". 

He is looking forward to the festival: “The Cork Whiskey Festival will give you a glimpse of both the newcomers to the business along with the more well established….. Tastings will be great whether you are a novice or more experienced!”

Ger of course will be working at the festival as indeed he had some work to do on the launch night, guiding us through a tasting of Jameson Black Barrel and a Redbreast 12,  a couple of Midleton’s well-known spirits. We didn’t really need any guidance for our intro drink, a classic Jameson and Ginger serve in a tall glass with a user friendly grip!


Jameson were, of course, based in Dublin but became part of the Irish Distillers in Midleton when the few remaining distilleries came together for survival’s sake in the 1966. 

The Black Barrel is a step up on the basic Jameson and quite an economical one too, an all round whiskey. Ger filled us in on the story of the Black Barrel and  the “alligator”. The barrels in which it is matured get a second char, a deep one that “cracks open the barrel and leaves marks like an alligator skin, very black of course and that led to the name".

Enjoying the craic with Oisin Davis (r) of Great Irish Beverages 

Redbreast too has a long history, going back to 1912 and the Redbreast 12 is the biggest seller of Irish premium whiskey in the world. Ger: "It has been on the market since 1912 and the ruby hue is due to the sherry influence (raised in Oloroso barrels). It smell is wonderfully evocative, like Christmas cake in a glass, full bodied, buttery, spicy, sweet and fruity and with that soft warming effect.”

Lovely on a cold February night! And I left the Shelbourne with a warm glow, hoping that the third weekend in March will be a few degrees warmer!

* In the meantime, get your tickets at the website.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Happy New Year Begins With Redbreast Hattrick

Happy New Year Begins With Redbreast Hattrick

And, first, a fond look-back at the Lustau Connection

Back in 2015, Ballymaloe hosted a sherry dinner. Manolo Lozano, accompanied by friend and translator Paco Lozano (unrelated), was here to visit Irish Distillers in nearby Midleton and the dinner celebrated the links between the two companies.

The sherry flowed over the multi-course meal. But there was one further liquid treat in store for us, a glass of Redbreast 21 year old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Master Blender at Midleton Distillery Billy Leighton: “The Redbreast family is all based on whiskey raised in sherry casks. Paco and Manolo have been of tremendous help to us in Jerez. We get the best quality cases and that leads to the best quality whiskey”.

On the 21-year old, it was agreed that “there is a succulent fruitiness on the nose, a heavier style. Secret is to match the sherry flavours with the spicy whiskey, get that balance of fruitiness and spices. And that taste is full and silky, smooth and, even at 46% abv, it slips down nicely before the fruitiness slowly fades away and it drys out leaving the barley at the very end. Sláinte!”

Just a bit of background for you ahead of this trio (a Christmas present) that includes the Redbreast Lustau Edition but, sadly, no 21-Year old.

Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 40% ABV

RRP: c. 64 euro

Matured in the finest oak casks, a combination of Bourbon and Sherry, “the distinctive Redbreast sherry style is a joy to behold in each and every bottle”. It is their signature bottling.

Colour of the 12-year old is an eye-catching bright gold  (especially if the Christmas lights are still on) with coppery tints. Aromas are complex, the notes of fruit, spice and oak promising much.

And the same richness is joyfully evident on the velvety smooth palate, so much so that I’m berating myself for not having had one in a long while. Still, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Together again, the finish is long and the satisfying moments linger.

Made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley and then triple distilled in copper pot stills, Redbreast 12 boasts the flavour complexity and distinctive qualities of Pot Still whiskey. Matured in a combination of Bourbon seasoned American Oak barrels and Oloroso Sherry seasoned Spanish oak butts, the distinctive Redbreast sherry style is a joy to behold in each and every bottle.

I must say, I really love this one. Celtic Whiskey are also enthusiastic: Redbreast was a brand name for Jameson's pure Irish pot still, bottled in bond by Gilbeys. First made in 1939 with Jameson filling Gilbey's own casks. Two sherry casks were used for each bourbon cask. The brand died off with the closure of Jameson's distillery but was recently relaunched and is a huge favourite with both whiskey drinkers and connoisseurs. Really deserves to be marketed worldwide!


Redbreast 15 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 46% ABV

RRP: c. 105 euro

Matured in the finest oak casks (1st fill Sherry and Bourbon barrels). A careful balance of first fill and refill casks accentuates the assorted spices within Redbreast’s characteristic full and complex flavour, amplified through additional maturation.

The nose of this 15-year old is more rounded, more sophisticated, than its younger cousin, full and rich of course, with figs, apricots and nuts in the melange. And the extra years have also enhanced the experience in the mouth, complex yes but smoother (dried fruit, zest and an enhanced spiciness) and even more toastiness towards the finalé.

Made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley and then triple distilled in copper pot stills, Redbreast 15 is comprised exclusively of Pot Still whiskeys matured in the finest oak casks for no less than 15 years. That means that the youngest whiskey in the blend is 15 years. A careful balance of first fill and refill casks accentuates the assorted spices within Redbreast’s characteristic full and complex flavour.


Redbreast Lustau Edition Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 46% ABV

RRP: c. 76 euro

A unique collaboration between the prestigious Bodegas Lustau in Jerez, Spain, and the Midleton Distillery in County Cork. Initially matured in traditional bourbon and sherry casks for a period of 9-12 years. It is then finished for one extra year in first fill sherry butts which have been seasoned with Oloroso sherry from the prestigious Bodegas Lustau.

Colour is a bright gold with coppery tints. Aromas are, as you’d expect, spicy and fruity, complex. It is show-stopping on the palate, the string quarter has left the stage and the full orchestra plays on, silky smooth with a harmonious balance of spicy, fruity, sherry and toasted notes. And long after the the final note, the complex flavours reverberate in a thrilling lingering finalé.

This, “the ultimate sherried style of Redbreast”, may well be my favourite of the trio.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Warm Welcome and Superb Food at Finín’s of Midleton

Warm Welcome and Superb Food at Finín’s of Midleton


You walk in from the wind and the rain and there’s a buzz of conversation and then a smiling welcome and soon you are warming up at your table in Finin’s of Midleton on the last Thursday of 2022. It’s your final meal out of the year and it is a good one!

The packed downstairs room, and the staff  led by example by manager Tomislav, exudes welcome and warmth and you are immediately at ease, soon at your table and checking the menu from new Portuguese Head Chef Miguel Soares. 


The long-standing and popular restaurant was taken over by Blue Haven of Kinsale and opened mid 2022 after a period of renovation. In addition to this downstairs room, with the a feature along much of one side, they have also opened the room upstairs. 

And there’s more to come.  The frontage, on the main street, is slated for a makeover. And there are plans are in hand for another upstairs space in 2023; this new private dining room cum Whiskey Tasting Room will be  in conjunction with Redbreast.  But you won’t have to wait until then for whiskey. They have a splendid selection in the bar and that includes the complete Mitchell & Son Spot collection.

The new owners are pleased with the way things are going here: We have ambitious plans to build Finins into something special over time including some exciting additions in the new year in conjunction with Red Breast with a new private dining room and Whiskey Tasting Room. 

We are very excited about what the future holds for Finins and appreciate the support and warm welcome we have received in Midleton and look forward to playing our part in the local community for many years to come. 


And we was well pleased with our meal there. You can start with either something from the Nibbles or Starters section on the menu or both! Don’t forget to check the Specials before you start  - the staff will tell you anyhow.

We shared the Slow Cooked Oxtail Croquettes (with Dijonnaise Sauce & Smoked Gubbeen Cheese) and the Pork Belly Chicharrones (served with Avocado Cream & Mojito Sauce). The first (5.50) was from Nibbles, the second (8.50) from Starters, and both were excellent though the Chicharrones were my favourite!

From this and a previous visit, it seems that their burgers along with Fish and Chips are very popular dishes here; the restaurant caters for family groups.

Finin’s responds to the seasons and I absolutely enjoyed the excellent Wild Venison Loin (with Celeriac Purée, Garden Peas, Berry Medley & Smoked Jus).  This was just exquisite, so tender, so well executed and those little berries added so much to it.

Apple Tart

Another excellent mains, enjoyed by CL,  is the East Cork Lamb Rump with Organic Carrot Purée, Romanesco, Caramelised Silver Skin Onions & Jameson Jus Barley. And each of our mains was accompanied by a side of mash and greens.

We finished off with a shared dessert of Apple Tart and cream. It was one of the better ones,  a terrific warm dish and a boost against the windy weather outside!


Opening Times: Tuesday - Saturday 12.00pm - 11.00pm; Serving food until 9.00pm

Address: 75 Main Street, Midleton, Co. Cork P25E6F7

Tel: (021) 463 1878. 

Web: Finín's