Christmas Countdown 2020 #3: Duel of the Redbreast 14 Year Small Batch Cask Strengths (2019 Batch A vs 2019 Batch B)
Distillery: Midelton Distillery
Region: Cork, Ireland.
Age: 14 Year.
World Whiskey Review #39: Redbreast 14 Year Small Batch Cask Strength 2019 Batch A
ABV: 58.6% Cask Strength
Color: 1.1, Burnished.
Nose: (according to the wife) It smells a lot of molasses/black sugar and blackberries. Not much else going on.
Palate: It’s sweet and fruity with a bit of cream. It does need some water to calm this down. With water, candied ginger comes out along with candied walnuts. The candy notes are joined by a warm poached pear that’s been lightly dusted with holiday spices. Nice and warming with bits of sugar here and there.
Finish: Medium in length. The finish reminds me heavily of banana bread. There’s a bit of sugar, a bit of walnut, and a whole lot of that distinct dense banana bread taste.
Conclusion: Oh isn’t this a nice little treat. It’s packed full of nice holiday flavors. The candied ginger and walnuts are delightful, with a bit of sugar going on with the nutty and aromatic note. The poached pear with a bit of holiday spice is delicious and makes you want to go back for more. Right at the end, the banana bread is quite tasty and brings back memories of mom’s home baking. Would I buy a bottle? Probably!
Final Score: 82.
World Whiskey Review #40: Redbreast 14 Year Small Batch Cask Strength 2019 Batch B
ABV: 57.2% Cask Strength
Color: 1.4, Tawny.
Nose: (according to the wife) Not a whole lot going on. Nothing quite stands out.
Palate: It’s got a nice warmth to it at full strength. There’s a lot of a very sugary malt, so sugary that it almost has a coarse mouthfeel to it. Not much else happens, just a lot of malt sugar. With some water, a little bit of lemon comes out but not much else.
Finish: Fairly short in length. There’s a little bit of lemon and a bit of citrus zest.
Conclusion: While this isn’t a bad whisky, it’s pretty clear that even without the direct comparison to it’s sibling whisky that this is a boring whisky. There really isn’t much going on anywhere. It basically gives off no aroma. The palate is just a bunch of sugary malt. The finish gets a little interesting with some lemon and citrus zest but that’s not enough to carry this. Not bad, but it is the definition of boring.
Final Score: 72.
World Whiskey Review #39-40, Irish Whiskey Review #10-11, Whisky Network Review #345-346
- 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
- 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
- 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
- 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
- 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
- 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
- 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
- Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.
2 thoughts on “Duel of the Redbreast 14 Year Small Batch Cask Strengths (2019 Batch A vs 2019 Batch B)”
I got lucky and got batch C which I thought sounded the most interesting. I like it.
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You should include the batch information. The batches are as follows (flavor notes from the brand):
Batch A: wood driven with sweet vanilla notes, delicate citrus fruit and mild sherry undertones – 58.6% ABV. This batch was meant to emphasize flavors derived from bourbon barrel maturation.
Batch B: added depth from sherry wine cask influence, including more dried fruits and honey sweetness – 57.2% ABV. This batch was meant to emphasize sherry cask maturation without letting it dominate the palate.
Batch C: a touch more exotic fruit notes and rich toasted wood characteristics – 59.1% ABV. This batch was meant to focus on the orchard and tropical fruit notes of the whiskey.
Batch D: a rich, dried fruit quality such as raisins and figs, along with dark berry fruits – 58.9% ABV. This batch was meant to emphasize the heavy sherry cask component of the whiskey.
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