Joining the already award-winning Lustau Edition is Redbreast Pedro Ximénez Edition, a single pot still Irish whiskey, triple-distilled and initially matured in ex-bourbon and oloroso sherry casks before being re-casked into Pedro Ximénez hogsheads from the southern tip of Spain for a minimum of 12 months.
The distillery says that the smaller size of the PX cask, just half that of a standard sherry butt, intensifies the flavour contribution from the wood, imparting notes of treacle, raisins and orange zest.
Redbreast Lustau Edition will remain the anchor expression in the Redbreast Iberian Series and will be joined by a new Limited Edition release from time to time.
Master blender Billy Leighton comments: “Iberia has been central to the history of Redbreast, and my colleagues and I have been visiting the peninsula since the 1980s. The close relationships fostered there over decades have led to many delightful discoveries…”
Dave McCabe, blender at Irish Distillers adds, “A number of years ago, our friends in Antonio Páez Lobato Cooperage in Jerez presented us with an exceptional opportunity to trial casks which had been pre-seasoned with Pedro Ximénez sherry for two years. Finding that the wood contributed a very different flavour profile to the traditional Spanish sherry cask, we finished our Redbreast whiskey in these hogsheads for between 12 and 22 months, adding a distinctive twist to the signature Redbreast character.”
Redbreast Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Pedro Ximénez Edition, tasted by editor Christopher Coates below, is bottled at 46% ABV and without chill-filtration. It is available in the UK, US, global travel retail and other markets with a RRP of £72.
RedbreastPedro Ximénez Edition
Nose: Medjool date, dried apricot and a little hair spray, but this dissipates in the glass with time. Brown bread and cedar notes become more assertive, then chewy toffees are joined by just a whiff of cola-bottle sweet. This settles down into a distinctive toffee apple note.
Palate: Very light, but with a pleasant oiliness. Cereal-driven up front, with white pepper, tamarind and something akin to rye spice. There’s sultana and sticky toffee pudding, too. The pear drop is still here, with apple boiled sweets and a touch of cardamom. As it settles in the glass, the intense sweetness of PX presents itself more clearly with the expected prune syrup and raisin notes.
Finish: The cereal-driven spiciness and sweetness plays out for a medium-long finish, but just a touch of clove and a delicate bitterness balancing out the syrup.
Comments: The nose puts me in mind of being at the fairground. It’s well balanced and Billy did well not to let the PX take charge.