Redbreast 21, the flagship single pot still whiskey from Irish Distillers’ Midleton distillery has been honoured with a top accolade in Jim Murray’s annual Whisky Bible 2018. Now in its 15th year of publication, the Whisky Bible contains tasting notes for over 4,600 whiskies and whiskeys from all over the world.
Jim Murray, a UK based Whiskey and whisky writer has long been considered the world’s leading whiskey writer and commentator. His annual Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible is an eagerly anticipated publication each year with tasting notes and scores out of 100 for over 4,600 whiskeys and whiskies around the world, with over 1,200 new whiskeys reviewed in this 2018 edition. The success of Redbreast 21 this year would appear to have been a long time coming as the very first book of Jim Murray’s career as a whiskey writer was Jim Murray’s Irish Whiskey Almanac first published in 1994.
Irish Distiller’s Redbreast 21 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey was named the world’s second-best whisk(e)y narrowly losing out Colonel EH Taylor 4 Grain – Bottled in Bond – Aged 12 Years expression from Buffalo Trace Bourbon from Kentucky. Scoring a near perfect 97/100, Murray, a world-renowned whisky and whiskey expert, described the Redbreast 21 as
“one of the most wonderful noses on this planet” which helps make it “one of the world’s most beautiful and iconic whiskeys”.
This placement is the best result ever for an Irish entrant in Whisky Bible history and only the second time an Irish whiskey made the top three. The first time was in the 2016 Bible when Irish Distillers’ Irish Oak Cask finished Midleton Dair Ghaelach placed third.
Commenting on the historic achievement, Jean-Christophe Coutures, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers said:
“We are delighted that Redbreast 21 Years Old has been recognised with such a prestigious placing in the Whisky Bible. Having secured third spot in the 2016 Bible and second spot this year has been a tremendous endorsement of the passion put into all our whiskeys by our team in Midleton. Our team is incredibly proud that Redbreast 21, the ultimate expression of the renowned Redbreast range, has placed Irish whiskey in the top echelons of world whiskeys.”
Produced in limited quantities the Redbreast 21 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is the oldest and most complex in the Redbreast range. A selection of different pot still whiskeys, which have been triple distilled, are aged in 1st and 2nd fill sherry and bourbon casks for between 21 and 28 years. The whiskey selected is carefully blended by Master Blender Billy Leighton introducing new levels of depth, flavour and taste. It is a reflection of the older heavier style of pot still whiskey.
Commenting on the accolade, Billy Leighton, Master Blender at Irish Distillers said:
“This nod from Jim Murray is truly heartwarming for me and everyone at Midleton Distillery who has helped to make Redbreast such an enjoyed whiskey. We are humbled by this and it’s really encouraging to see traditional Irish pot still whiskey take one of the top spots in the world of whiskeys and whiskies. When we were preparing for the launch of Redbreast 21 in 2013 and we were doing our tastings, we knew we had something special on our hands so it is great to see this appreciation shared by people across the world. This award is a testament to the team at Midleton and especially to my predecessors who had the foresight to squirrel away those casks that helped us to bring Redbreast 21 to the world.”
The winner of this year’s World Whisky of the Year award is Buffalo Trace’s Colonel E.H. Taylor 4 Grain (corn, rye, wheat and malted barley) “Bottled in Bond and Aged 12 years”. Scoring a remarkable 97.5 out of 100, the champion dram boasts a finish that Murray describes as a “slow, lightly oiled, gently spiced chocolate fade which goes on…and on”.
The Redbreast Pure Pot Still came a very close second with a score of 97 out of 100, earning praise from Murray for
“one of the most wonderful noses on this planet” which helps make it “one of the world’s most beautiful and iconic whisk(e)ys”.
Redbreast 21 is the Flagship of the Irish Distillers Single Pot Still range of premium Irish Whiskeys which also includes Green Spot and Yellow Spot, Barry Crockett Legacy edition, Powers Three Swallow and Powers John’s Lane whiskeys.