Redbreast Tawny Port Cask Edition

Style: Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Producer: Midleton Distillery; Irish Distillers
Origin: Cork, Ireland
ABV: 92 Proof (46% ABV)
Mashbill: Malted and unmalted barley, ratios undisclosed
Age: The bottle is non-age stated but is aged between 8-11 years
MSRP: $100
Availability: Nationally through 2024
Reviewed By: John McCarthy

Redbreast is the Irish whiskey all other single pot styles are measured against, so expectations are high for this Tawny Port Cask Edition. This latest addition to the Iberian Series joins 2021’s Redbreast Pedro Ximénez Edition and Redbreast Lustau, which became a permanent product in the Redbreast core portfolio. Tawny Port will be available nationally at least through 2024.

This Iberian Series is centered around Redbreasts’s connection with wineries inside the Iberian Peninsula through its parent company, Pernod Ricard. The Iberian Peninsula is divided between Spain and Portugal, so it makes sense that Redbreast’s Master Blender Billy Leighton and Blender Dave McCabe would take advantage of its extraordinary access to quality port and sherry casks.

Redbreast is made at the Midleton Distillery in Cork, Ireland, by Irish Distillers, who hold the largest quantity of Irish whiskey stock in the world thanks to Redbreast’s big brother, Jameson. It also is home to many of the world’s finest Irish whiskeys, including Midleton Very Rare, The “Spot Whiskeys,” and Powers.

Redbreast is a single pot style whiskey, which means it is a combination of at least 30% malted and 30% unmalted barley in the mash. These grains are fermented and triple distilled in a copper pot, and aged a minimum of three years. Tawny Port Cask is matured 8-11 years in a combo of ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks, some of which were transferred into tawny port barrels for “several years,” according to the manufacturer. Upon maturation, Leighton and McCabe finish these whiskeys in seasoned tawny port hogsheads for an additional 14-25 months.

What The Critics Say

• Robb Report: 96/100
• Drink Hacker: B+
• (Community Rating): 4.38/5
• 87/100

What We Say

Color: A beautiful copper color greets the eye while the legs hold in the glass forever, a precursor for great things.

Nose: Considering the port wine influence, the confectionary element is no surprise as a fresh sweetness mingles with floral and fruity/cherry notes. The nose is tied together by a distinctly nutty aroma.

Palate: The nutty, rancio note carries to the palate where it’s met with cola, dried fruit, hints of vanilla, citrus, and baking spice. The port cask sweetness is nicely balanced; props to the blenders for showing restraint and not overpowering the whiskey. As the legs on the glass predicted, the mouthfeel here is rich, dense, and lovely, coating the mouth with an oily texture that takes the edge off the ethanol burn.

Finish: Long and lingering, almost too lingering, dripping with spice, fruit, and oak.

There is no doubt that this is a delicious whiskey. It was not only fun to evaluate, but also nice to relax with over a couple of drams. Overall, I found this well-balanced, round, and tasty, with layers of aromas and flavors popping up as the liquid evolved in my glass. A perfect after dinner sipper. My only gripe is that it drinks a tad hot. This is easily tamed with a touch of water which calms it down and introduces a nice floral note. Overall, this sweet and decadent pour is precisely the delicious single-pot Irish whiskey you would expect from Redbreast.

Rating: Four Stars


★ Not Recommended
★★ Recommended
★★★ Highly recommended
★★★★ Excellent
★★★★★ Ethereal

John McCarthy is a spirit, travel, and lifestyle journalist, managing editor, and author of The Modern Gentleman and Whiskey Rebels: The Dreamers, Visionaries & Badasses Who Are Revolutionizing American Whiskey. McCarthy is also editor of Barleycorn Drinks and Director of Judging of the John Barleycorn Awards.