W & A Gilbey was founded in 1857 and began in small basement cellars at the corner of Oxford Street and Berwick Street in London. In 1866, the company moved to new offices and stores at 46 & 47 Upper Sackville Street in the centre of Dublin which contained their own vaults. They sold all their wines and spirits directly to consumers under their own distinctive brand. By 1874, Gilbeys held a stock in bond of over 300,000 gallons of whiskey sourced from “the most celebrated Dublin Distilleries”. The proprietary brand at this time was Gilbey’s Castle Whiskey. By 1887 Gilbey were marketing John Jameson & Son’s ‘sole make’ pure and unblended Irish whiskey. Every bottle of Castle Grand Whiskey had a label certifying that it was Jameson’s. The first official reference to the brand name ‘Redbreast’ appears in August 1912, when Gilbeys were selling “Redbreast” Liqueur Whiskey 12 Years Old. The name ‘Redbreast’ itself refers to the bird, Robin Redbreast, and is attributed to the then Chairman of Gilbey’s, who was an avid bird-fancier. In the mid 1960s, Redbreast was being bottled annually in batches of approximately 4,000 gallons to satisfy a steady demand for the brand. In 1970, Irish Distillers decided to phase out the sales of bulk whiskey ‘by the cask’ to the wholesalers and retailers who bottled it themselves. Gilbeys however, managed to continue receiving pure pot still whiskey for Redbreast until the closure of Bow Street Distillery in the summer of 1971. The last bottling of Redbreast under the Gilbey’s banner occurred in 1985.
In December 1991, Redbreast was re-introduced by Irish Distillers Limited, after an absence of almost 10 years. The veritable pot still whiskey was given a thorough makeover and benefited from Irish Distiller’s revamped wood program. The flawless pot still distillate from Midleton Distillery was now maturing in only the finest sherry and bourbon casks. In 2005, the Redbreast 15 was released bottled at 46% abv and was non chill filtered.
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700 ml, 46.0% abv, IrelandThe newest addition to the Redbreast family, Redbreast Sherry Finish Lustau Edition offers a new way to experience their signature sherry taste. Born of a unique collaboration between the Bodegas Lustau and the Midleton Distillery, Redbreast Sherry Finish Lustau Edition is initially matured in traditional bourbon and sherry casks for a period of 9-12 years. It is then finished for 1 additional year in first fill hand selected sherry butts that have been seasoned with the finest Oloroso sherry from the prestigious Bodegas Lustau in Jerez.
700 ml, 46.0% abv, IrelandNow a permanent expression in the family having originally launched as a limited edition, Redbreast 15 Year Old is matured in a combination of Spanish Oloroso sherry casks and American Bourbon whisky barrels. Bottled at the higher ABV strength of 46%, Redbreast 15 Year Old is non chill filtered.
700 ml, 58.2% abv, IrelandExperience Redbreast 12 in its natural, full flavoured state. Straight from the cask, unfiltered, no water added. A full bodied 58.2%
700 ml, 46% abv, IrelandRedbreast 21 year old is the finest representation of the signature Redbreast sherry style. It is the oldest and richest expression of the Redbreast style ever produced, and the 21 year ageing process introduces new levels of depth, flavour and taste to create an inherently complex and ultimately, rewarding whiskey. "Funky, lemon and white equatorial fruits on the nose. Toffee, coconut, burnt sugar. Wonderfully untidy. Full of character. A fruity animal of a nose. Nice sweet and hot finish. Has a very tropical feel to it. Enormous character. Really good and capable of getting even better."
“Amongst the world’s truly great whiskeys and near blue print for the perfect Pot Still Irish Whiskey” 96/100 points (Jim Murray, The Whisky Bible 2017)*Note gift box colour is actually black