• Cyril McAree

Redbreast 21 Named 2nd Best Whiskey In The World


Irish Distillers, Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, 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.

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. 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 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’ 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.”

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2018 is the 15th edition of the publication and contains taste notes for over 4,600 drams. With over 1,200 new whiskies tasted for the latest edition of the international guide, the supreme Col. Taylor faced stiff competition from European rivals to claim the top award. In third place behind Redbreast 21 and Col. Taylor was Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition, which drops from its second-place finish in 2016.

Sectional winners include: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (Canadian Whiskey of the Year); The Norfolk Parched from St George’s (European); Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky (Japanese); Paul John Kanya (Asian) and Limeburner’s Dark Winter (Southern Hemisphere)

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