Redbreast 12 Year Old
Red Breast 12 year old was first launched in 1939 as the brand name given to the pot still whiskey supplied by Jameson to whiskey bonders. This was before bottling at the distillery became the norm in 1968. Stocks of whiskey in bonders’ stores petered out, and thus Redbreast all but disappeared until its re-launch by the distillery in the 1990s as a single pot still whiskey. This pure pot still Redbreast is a very special whiskey within the Irish Distillers fortified as it’s the only 12 year old whiskey is matured for a minimum of 12 years in sherry casks and Bourbon barrels. Like all good pot still whiskeys, it is strongly flavoured and assertive, making it a rare treat for the connoisseur.
Redbreast 12 Year Old was awarded the overall trophy for the second consecutive year in the International Wine & Spirits competition.
A pot still nose offers a very inviting combination of resin and linseed, sherry and cream soda.
The use of unmalted barley in this pot still whiskey gives it a hard edge that snaps the taste buds into life.
Long and lingering with some classy sherry rounding off a magnificent performance. This excellent whiskey is available at Number 21 off licence.
The big vodka brands (Grey Goose and Absolut, for example) are typically made from wheat. According to Kalak’s founder, Patrick Shelley, it’s all about the character of the finished product. Malted barley delivers that in spades, wheat doesn’t. Kalak is made solely from malted barley and water, and is distilled in pot stills. The same jumping off point as single malt whiskey, as it happens.The similarity with whiskey is apparent on the nose and on the tongue. If you have tried newly made whiskey, straight from the still, you will recognise Kalak.
It does not have the rawness of newly made whiskey, however, having been distilled to a purity of 96%. It takes three passes through a pot still to reach that point. A further distillation reduces impurities and improves the flavour. Finally, it is filtered through charcoal and cut with spring water to a bottling strength of 40%.
Official tasting notes:
Freshly baked brioche, vanilla and fresh fruit.
A deliciously elegant texture with hints of dark chocolate, cream and candied fruit.
A soft and glowing lingering complexity.
Kalak is 100% Irish in every respect. It’s an Irish brand, made by the fully Irish-owned West Cork Distillers, from 100% Irish malted barley. The name, too, is Irish in disguise, derived from a mythological figure, An Cailleach, whose legendary qualities and accoutrements suffuse the branding. This excellent vodka is now available at Number 21 off licence.
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Rioja is a stylish but warming red, and it goes well with all kind of roasts, steaks and chops. There’s so much more to red Rioja than it seems at first glance. The fancy labels, the gold wire, the hessian wrap, the seals on the bottle, all give the impression that each bottle is as elaborately made as the next. This, of course, is far from being the case. Others may have minimalist packaging but conceal a truly great wine. Rioja is a large region with over 300 producers; most of the wine made here is sold very young, without any oak aging, and just becomes an anonymous supermarket brand or similar. Take a look at the label: if you see the words Sin Crianza, this wine has never seen the inside of an oak barrel and therefore will lack that lovely toasty vanilla aroma we all know and love. This flavour comes from the American oak preferred by top producers here. Rioja Gran Reserva spends two years in the barrel and three more in the bottle. These older wines are paler in colour, subtler in flavour than a typical red Rioja, but linger on the palate for a long time.
Bodegas Palacio is a centenary winery located in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa. Since their foundation in 1894, they have made an important contribution to the revolution in winemaking that has taken place in La Rioja. Their founder, Don Cosme Palacio y Bermejillo, began producing his exceptional wines over 100 years ago, making the bodega one of a limited few to be selected as Bodegas Históricas de la D.O Ca Rioja.
Their wines are like a historical timeline of the region, starting with Glorioso which dates back to 1928; Glorioso Reserva and Glorioso Gran Reserva are both stunning examples of this style. Both of these wines are available at Number 21 Off-licence.
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