Today I'm reviewing a rather special whiskey. Redbreast Dream Cask Oloroso Sherry Edition is a 29 year old whiskey released to mark World Whisky Day 2021. The release celebrates the signature Redbreast style. And, it represents the pinnacle of whiskey making by Blenders Billy Leighton and Dave McCabe.
This is the fourth release in the annual series. To create this whiskey Billy and Dave vatted together four unique whiskeys, aged for at least 29 years. The casks included ex-bourbon, sherry, and ruby port seasoned casks.
- 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.
The whiskeys were then married in a specially selected Oloroso sherry butt, from Jerez de la Frontera in Spain’s Andalusia region. It spend a further 15 months maturing in this cask. The long finishing time aimed to bring additional mellow fruit flavours, and further develop the pot still spices.
When we spoke with Billy he said: “We experimented with new ways of vatting, marrying and finishing to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Our vision was to create a whiskey that both compares and contrasts to the previous Dream Cask editions. A unique distillation and a rare expression of one of the world’s greatest whiskeys. Redbreast Dream Cask Oloroso Sherry Edition is undeniably special and unmistakably Irish.”
Dave added: “This whiskey transports us to Jerez. It's a part of the world renowned for its fine food and drinks and where whisky feels at home. The aromas from Dream Cask Oloroso Sherry Edition are so reminiscent of the atmosphere inside the bodegas that we are privileged to have seasoning our casks.”
So, that's enough of the background, let's try this whiskey, which is 51.2% ABV, natural colour and non-chill filtered.
Redbreast Dream Cask Oloroso Sherry Edition Tasting Notes
Colour: Deep auburn bronze. Viscous in the glass, coating the sides thickly.
Nose: Deep and luscious. Raisins and dried muscat grapes, musty rich and fruity; almost reminds me of cognac. Old leather bound books on a polished oak bookshelf in a grand victorian library. Muscovado sugar, woody spices and dried vanilla pods from the kitchen cupboard.
Palate: Thick mouthfeel, rich texture. More raisins are joined by red and black berries macerated in sugar syrup. Toffee apples. Burnt brown sugar or caramel. Cinnamon and nutmeg Danish knot pastry with a mocha coffee. At 51.2%, the alcohol is exceptionally well integrated. It adds significant body, but no burn.
Finish: Medium finish. Rich fruit mellow into vanilla and drying oak followed by a little spice.
Dream Cask 2021 Review
A dream cask indeed. This is an exceptional whiskey. The age and quality of maturation have resulted in a dram that burst with flavour. It's rich, unctuous, and a perfect example of a heavily sherried whisky. If you were lucky enough to get a bottle on Redbreast's Birdhouse, well done. If you get the opportunity to try it, seize that opportunity. A really wonderful dram.