Red Breast: 12 Year (Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey: 12 Year: 40% ABV)

Visual: Light banana skin to gold.

Viscosity: Generally very slow puckering that barely breaks into streaks.

Nose; Light ripe banana skins. Some alcohol prickle. Shredded wheat. Caramel. Pineapple. Water lightens the aroma.

Body: Still an alcohol touch. Pears in custard. Banana. The alcohol effect picks up over time. Water really mellows the fire and makes the flavour more malt and biscuits styled

Finish: Pear and malt chocolate. Apples. Smooth sheen. Water makes digestive biscuits come out and adds banoffee pie.

Conclusion: After visiting this one many a time I thought I had best review it.  Oddly this sampling found the whiskey the most flavoursome that I have ever tried it. How auspicious.

This has always seemed a slightly fiery whiskey when taken neat, so it took me a bit of time to unveil the flavours within. It isn’t badly burning, but there is a noticeable alcohol element. Water does a great job of dampening the fire, but it does remove some of the high points from the main body. The finish seems bullet proof though and works the best of the whole drink.

I’m getting ahead of myself again though aren’t I? This is a whiskey with a lovely feel, like banana skin. Coincidentally it has the flavour of banana as well which makes for a nice thematic touch. The whole thing is wrapped around a predominantly apple and pear body. In a way it makes me think of what St Georges Whisky may be like when it grows up – we can but see.

It has a good balance of texture and flavour, a lasting sweetness and good fruit elements. Despite the occasional fire it still feels dessert like, the alcoholics cheesecake perhaps.

With water it is very easy to drink and the banana touch complements the green fruit well. The combination givens the result of a thicker flavoured whisky than those elements would usually match. Despite that it never feels heavy; in fact at times the spirit feels like it could easily evaporate from your tongue. Overall a fine fresh whisky, light in feel but not in taste.

Background: Drunk at the Raven. This is part of my attempt to branch back out into Irish Whiskies after not giving them the attention they deserve for a while.  I had a bottle of this a while back and enjoyed it, and since The Raven do nicely over sized measures it seemed like a good time to revisit and see how it holds up to my memory. Investigating the term “Pot Still Whiskey” it seems that it is generally triple distilled but what makes it distinctly “pot still” is that does not use purely malted barley. Ok I copied that off wikipedia, but it hold up with what I had heard before so may not be a complete lie. The term seems odd as best I can tell Single Malt whisky uses pot stills the same as “Pot Still” whiskey so it seems a not overly useful descriptive term. Huh. Maybe I should look into it more.