Dublin Whiskey Bonding Tradition Is Honoured With New Red Spot Irish Whiskey Launch

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Irish Distillers, producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has unveiled Red Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Last seen in the mid-1960s, this spicy new member of the Spot Whiskeys range offers whiskey drinkers further choice in the innovative super-premium Irish whiskey category.

Crafted from an old recipe handed down by the Mitchell & Son family of wine merchants, the creators of the original Spot Whiskeys range in the early 1900s, the reimagined Red Spot is a triple-distilled, single pot still Irish whiskey that has been matured for a minimum of 15 years in a combination of casks pre-seasoned with Bourbon, Oloroso Sherry and Marsala fortified wine. The highly-anticipated result commands attention with a full-bodied, complex and characterful flavour profile that will appeal to aficionados looking for a bold whiskey experience.

The Mitchell family worked closely with the craftsmen from Midleton Distillery throughout the collaboration. As part of the process, Marsala fortified wine casks were procured from Sicily in the early 2000s and then, in 2004, were filled with a five-year-old Bourbon matured single pot still Irish whiskey. The subtle contribution from the tight grain of the American oak was the ideal base for the heavy spice and ripe fruit flavours imparted through maturation in Marsala wine casks, which has been carefully blended with ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry whiskeys to achieve the perfect balance of flavour.

Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation at Midleton Distillery, commented: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with the Mitchell family on the reimagination of Red Spot and bring a piece of Dublin’s rich whiskey history back to life. It has been 50 years since the world last saw Red Spot and whiskey enthusiasts have long awaited its return – this is a bold whiskey that packs a punch, has incredibly rich flavours and an extra-long infusion of fruits and spices on the finish that provides a truly unique and colourful ending. We’re delighted to be able to offer this lost, but not forgotten whiskey, once again, and look forward to one day completing the full Spot Whiskeys range.”

The Mitchell family commenced trading in 1805 at 10 Grafton Street in the heart of Dublin as purveyors of fine wine and confectionery. In 1887, the business expanded into whiskey bonding whereby it sent empty wine and fortified wine casks to the local Jameson Distillery on Bow Street to be filled with new single pot still spirit for maturation in the Mitchell’s cellars.

The Red Spot name was derived from the Mitchell’s practice of marking their maturing casks of whiskey with a daub of coloured paint to determine the age potential of the whiskey; with a Blue Spot, Green Spot, Yellow Spot or Red Spot indicating 7, 10, 12 or 15 years respectively. Four generations later, the company is still in the wine and spirits business under the stewardship of Jonathan Mitchell and his son Robert.

Jonathan Mitchell, Managing Director at Mitchell & Son, explained: “It has been fascinating to work with Kevin O’Gorman and the craftsmen at Midleton Distillery to recreate Red Spot and a real journey into the rich history of our family and its role in Dublin’s whiskey bonding era. Pouring over old recipe books, ledgers and archive material has provided us with the tools to tell the story of Red Spot in a new, yet authentic way – and at almost one hundred years since it was crafted for the first time, by my great-grandfather Robert Mitchell, this is a whiskey homecoming for the ages. Indeed, everyone at Mitchell & Son is thrilled to see the red daub adorning a bottle once more.”

Brendan Buckley, Innovation & Prestige Whiskeys Director at Irish Distillers, added: “The release of Red Spot marks the next colourful chapter in the story of the Spot Whiskeys range, which is becoming increasingly popular among modern whiskey drinkers across Europe and the USA due to its focus on innovation, unique role in Dublin’s whiskey bonding history and world-renowned high quality. Red Spot is a liquid time capsule that remembers our past while we look to the future and we are honoured that the people behind the original Spot Whiskeys, our partners at Mitchell & Son, are so supportive of our mission to return the range to its former glory.”

Bottled at 46% ABV and without chill-filtration, Red Spot is re-introduced and available from this month at the RRP of €115 in Ireland and from January 2019 in the USA, UK, France and Global Travel Retail.

Redbreast Makes The Redbreast Dream Cask A Part Of The Family

Redbreast Dream Cask

Redbreast Irish whiskey, which is produced by Irish Distillers in Midleton Distillery, has launched the Redbreast Dream Cask, which will be available to buy through its online members’ club, The Birdhouse, from World Whisky Day (Saturday 19th May). The release follows requests from consumers and whiskey experts over the past 12 months, and becomes the first in a new series planned for the coming years.

Redbreast Dream Cask is a limited edition, 32 Year Old single pot still Irish whiskey – a single cask that was hand-selected last year by Master Blender, Billy Leighton, as his favourite Redbreast whiskey. The cask was chosen for having the perfect balance of pot still, Spanish oak and sherry flavours, which can usually only be achieved through blending – bringing to life Redbreast’s signature sherry style.

The whiskey was originally unveiled during a Facebook LIVE tasting to mark Redbreast’s World Whisky Day 2017 celebrations. Participants and viewers praised the quality and rarity of what is now the oldest Redbreast Irish whiskey ever to go on sale, with many requesting that the whiskey be made available to buy.

Redbreast Master Blender, Billy Leighton, commented: “In almost 40 years as a blender, Redbreast Dream Cask is a real highlight as I am able to select my own, personal dream Irish whiskey and share it with the world. Our inaugural tasting in 2017 was by far the largest whiskey tasting I have ever held, and the feedback we have received from the whiskey community on the liquid has been phenomenal, so it’s an honour to see it bottled to mark World Whisky Day 2018 – and watch this space for our 2019 plans.”

Billy Leighton, Master Blender

The Redbreast Dream Cask represents the perfect contribution of flavours through a careful maturation journey rounded out by a particularly sublime sherry butt. The original date of bonding goes back to 31st October 1985, with single pot still Irish whiskey filled into re-fill American Oak ex-Bourbon barrels. Then, on 8th March 2011, the whiskey was re-casked into a first-fill Oloroso Sherry-seasoned butt. The resulting whiskey is luxuriously smooth with wood resin notes reminiscent of well-polished antique furniture, lots of ripe fresh fruit flavours and an extremely balanced finish that slowly fades.

Redbreast Dream Cask is bottled without the use of chill-filtration at 46.5% ABV and is available in very limited quantities through Redbreast’s online private members’ club, The Birdhouse, for €500 per 50cl bottle. Click here to visit The Birdhouse.

Brendan Buckley, Strategy, Insight, Innovation & Prestige Whiskeys Director at Irish Distillers, added: “What started out as a celebration of Redbreast on World Whisky Day has developed into the release of a limited edition directly requested by Redbreast fans. We didn’t know it then, but World Whisky Day 2017 was just the beginning for Redbreast Dream Cask and we look forward to what Billy Leighton, and his apprentice Dave McCabe, will find in our Midleton warehouses in the years to come.”

Jameson Restructures Its Portfolio With New Family Of Irish Whiskeys

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Jameson has unveiled a new structure to its family of Irish Whiskeys, representing a unique re-interpretation of the super-premium whiskey category. The new portfolio is made up of The Whiskey Makers Series, the range of Heritage whiskeys and The Deconstructed Series with the original Jameson Irish Whiskey at the core. Together, the new portfolio showcases the brand’s rich heritage, celebrates its remarkable present and shares an insight into its innovative future, underpinned by our communications platform of Sine Metu.

The restructure manifests Jameson’s ambition to drive interest globally in Irish Whiskey, a trend that has been led by the brand in recent years. The new family of whiskeys is set to further impact this movement, highlighting Jameson’s wider offering and giving drinkers a meaningful exploration path into super premium whiskey. With a strength of storytelling throughout the range, the new portfolio is rooted in the interests of Jameson’s fans who are seeking to learn more about the people and craft, heritage, taste and ethos of fearlessness behind the brand.

Daniel Lundberg, Global Brand Director for Jameson, comments: “The restructure of the Jameson family is the most significant move in our brand’s recent history. This is an exceptionally exciting development that positions Jameson at the forefront of innovation and advance within the Irish Whiskey category. The family, comprised of The Whiskey Makers Series, the range of Heritage whiskeys and The Deconstructed Series is underpinned by the brand’s people and craft, heritage, taste and fearlessness; in short, the qualities for which Jameson is celebrated throughout the world. Today we finally get to unveil our new family globally and witness Irish Whiskey fans discovering new stories, flavours and experiences from Jameson.”

The Whiskey Makers Series

A brand new range of super-premium Jameson whiskeys – The Whiskey Makers Series – sits within the refreshed family and is comprised of three whiskies that celebrate the people behind Jameson and their craft. Created collaboratively by Jameson Head Distiller, Brian Nation; Head Cooper, Ger Buckley; and Head Blender, Billy Leighton, the range gives Midleton’s craftspeople a unique opportunity to shine a light on their individual areas of expertise. The Whiskey Makers Series is set to deepen consumers’ understanding of Irish Whiskey production through the exploration of three key tools, after which the products are named: The Distiller’s Safe, The Cooper’s Croze and The Blender’s Dog.

The Distiller’s Safe celebrates the role of Jameson’s Head Distiller, Brian Nation, and is a true showcase of the original copper pot still distillate. A purist of whiskey making, Brian explores the influence of the copper on the new-make spirit, using a maturation process that skilfully preserves the qualities of the original distillate, allowing the flavours developed in the pot still to take centre stage. Brian’s tool of choice – the spirit safe – allows him to fine tune the whiskey’s style at any point during the distillation process and the resulting blended whiskey carries distinct sweetness from barley sugar and gentle notes of apricot, cinnamon and melon. A smooth, light whiskey with a luminous, zesty finish.

The Cooper’s Croze showcases the role of Jameson’s Head Cooper, Ger Buckley, and explores the influence that maturation in casks has on whiskey. A fifth generation cooper, Ger has a deep relationship with wood and is tasked with selecting, repairing and maintaining Midleton’s diverse and treasured barrels. Ger’s prized possession – a croze – passed down through his family, is used to make the groove where the head of the cask is positioned. The resulting blended whiskey is matured in virgin American oak barrels, seasoned bourbon barrels and Iberian sherry casks, a combination that delivers vanilla sweetness, rich fruit flavours and a balance of floral and spice notes.

The Blender’s Dog celebrates the role of Jameson Head Blender, Billy Leighton; a tribute to the fine art of blending. A master at matching whiskeys across ages and characters, Billy is tasked with uniting the crafts supplied by distiller and cooper to create harmonious, perfectly balanced whiskeys. Billy’s go-to instrument – a ‘dog’ – is used to collect whiskey samples from the casks, allowing Billy to bring together complementary spirits from Midleton’s extensive range of maturing stock. The Blender’s Dog is a perfect balance of spirit, wood and time; a rich, rounded whiskey with butterscotch sweetness, spices, tannins and an exceptionally long finish.
heritage-series_5The range of Heritage whiskeys

The range of Heritage whiskeys is a new collection of super-premium Irish Whiskeys that bring to the fore over 200 years of remarkable stories and milestones from the brand’s rich history. Created to better highlight three world-renowned Irish Whiskeys – Jameson Black Barrel, Jameson Crested and Jameson Signature – each expression in the range tells a different story from Jameson’s past.

Jameson Black Barrel is a triple-distilled Irish whiskey that pays tribute to the cooper’s method of charring barrels for a second time. Charring is a traditional method for invigorating barrels, although today at Midleton double-charred barrels are used by choice rather than through necessity. The expression uses a blend of ‘small batch’ grain and traditional pot still Irish Whiskey, which is distilled just once a year at Midleton, and is matured in a combination of American oak, sherry casks and double-charred bourbon barrels. Time spent maturing in these barrels imparts the whiskey with intensified notes of vanilla sweetness and caramel, alongside toasted wood, fruit, and warm spice.

Jameson Crested, launched globally in March 2016, is a triple-distilled Irish Whiskey that celebrates the first drops of whiskey to be bottled, sealed and labelled at the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin, marking the moment in time (1963) when Jameson took full control of the whiskey making process, from grain to glass. Up until then, distillers – including the Jameson Distillery – sold barrels of whiskey to bonders to bottle themselves, however, reports of whiskey bonders watering down their whiskey in the 1960s led Jameson to complete the process inside the distillery walls to protect the quality of the whiskey. Jameson Crested brings together rich pot still Irish Whiskey and grain whiskey, matured in a high proportion of sherry casks, as well as bourbon barrels. The result is a nose of vivid sherry and pot still aromas, a palate of toasted wood, spice and chocolate, and a warm, lingering sherry finish.

Jameson Signature is a triple-distilled Irish Whiskey that bears the signature of John Jameson, a mark of quality that has appeared since the early days of the Bow Street Distillery, when all casks were signed off by John Jameson. The expression celebrates this tradition and the generations of meticulously transcribed distillers’ notebooks, a sign that attention to detail remains at the heart of Jameson. Jameson Signature is a commitment from the brand to uphold the founder’s core values of craftsmanship and quality, with a robust and complex whiskey that boasts deep flavours of cedar, vanilla, citrus and dried fruits and a smooth balance of honey.

deconstructed-series_6The Deconstructed Series

The Deconstructed Series is a range of super-premium Irish Whiskeys that explores the key flavour notes of the original Jameson Irish Whiskey. Launched in Cannes in October 2015, the expressions – Jameson Bold, Jameson Lively and Jameson Round – are named after three key taste characteristics found within the family’s core expression, amplifying each flavour trait to offer three new drinking experiences.

Jameson Bold, influenced by pot still whiskey, is an intense and robust whiskey, with a strong influence of spices. Initially sweet and creamy, with an abundance of soft fruits, the pot still spices develop to bring a perfect balance of rich barley notes and mellow baked apple.

Jameson Lively, influenced by grain whiskey, offers an elegant and floral taste combined with a citrus lightness. Its soft and sweet taste, provided by the perfume bon bons alongside turkish delight, combines with drying hints of citrus to balance the sweetness. A little chilli oil brings a prickle of spices to the mouth.

Jameson Round, influenced by the wood contribution, is a balance of rich and plump charred wood tones. A perfect harmony of diverse flavours, sweet vanilla fuses with soft ripe fruit and, together, combines with the rich Pot Still Spices on a firm foundation of toasted oak.

Redbreast Unveils It’s First All Sherry Matured Whiskey

Redbreast Mano A Lamh– New limited edition whiskey available exclusively

to members of The Stillhouse via www.SinglePotStill.com

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has announced the launch of Redbreast Mano a Lámh, the first expression in the Redbreast range to be matured solely in ex-oloroso sherry butts. This special whiskey is the latest release from the Midleton Distillery as it aims to satisfy the increasing global demand for new and original Single Pot Still Irish whiskeys.

Mano a Lámh, meaning ‘hand in hand’ in Spanish and Gaelic respectively, represents the relationship and passion between the Midleton Distillery and the collective of artisans in Spain, which has crafted the distillery’s sherry butts for more than 20 years.

Specially commissioned for the Midleton Distillery, oak is felled in the forests of Galicia, north-west Spain, and then crafted and seasoned by some of the country’s most prestigious family businesses. The Antonio Páez Lobato Bodega in the South crafts the oak into casks, which are then seasoned with Oloroso sherry for two years at the prestigious Páez Morilla Bodega in the nearby sherry capital of the world, Jerez.

The freshly seasoned sherry butts are then shipped promptly, during the cooler winter months, to the Midleton Distillery where they are then filled with new make pot still whiskeys.

Redbreast Mano a Lámh is being released exclusively to members of The Stillhouse, the web-based members club for Single Pot Still Irish whiskey fans. The Stillhouse forms part of the www.singlepotstill.com website, which launched in 2011, to educate discerning whiskey lovers about the quality and provenance of this unique style of Irish whiskey.

While the core Redbreast range is matured in a combination of American bourbon and Spanish oloroso butts, RedbreastMano a Lámh luxuriates in this signature sherry style by bringing together whiskeys which have been matured exclusively in first fill Spanish oloroso sherry casks, imparting distinct, rich, fruity flavours and a full body.

Billy Leighton, Master Blender at Midleton Distillery, said: “Redbreast Mano a Lámh celebrates our longstanding relationship with the family of artisans in Spain who craft our sherry butts, which are so synonymous with the signature style of Redbreast Single Pot Still Irish whiskey. It was an exciting challenge as a Master Blender to work on this project; having to ensure that the right balance was achieved and the sherry contribution did not over power in the final taste. For me, Redbreast Mano a Lámh offers a distinctive, rich whiskey with intense flavours of dried fruit, which gives way to the perfection of the Spanish oak. I am really eager to learn what our Stillhouse members and Redbreast fans think of this rare expression.”

Brendan Buckley, Global Innovation and Prestige Whiskeys Director at Irish Distillers added: “Since its re-launch in May 2011, Single Pot Still Irish whiskey has quickly established itself as the insiders’ Irish whiskey style of choice with the Redbreast brand very much at the vanguard of this revival. We hope that Redbreast Mano a Lámh will excite whiskey lovers, especially those who enjoy sherried style whiskeys”.

“The coming together of tradition and people, talents and passions – true craftspeople working hand in hand through generations and across borders – is what has helped make Redbreast the most definitive Single Pot Still Irish whiskey in the world and long may it continue.”

Limited to just 2,000 bottles, Redbreast Mano a Lámh is non-chill filtered at 46% ABV and is available exclusively to members of The Stillhouse from February 2015, priced at €65. For more information on Single Pot Still Irish whiskey and to join The Stillhouse, visit www.singlepotstill.com.

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