Whiskey Review: Redbreast, Waterford, Compass Box and more

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This month’s batch of whiskey (and whiskey) comes from Spain, Scotland and Ireland. New releases from the Irish distillery Waterford include the world’s first biodynamic whiskey, the Spanish distillery Basque Moonshiners are starting to their releases (meaning they are easier to find), and two radically different Scotches are also sneaking in.

Here is my usual disclaimer. These reviews reflect my personal views on the whiskey and that these have not been requested or considered official by Forbes in any way. Often, but not always, I get sent a sample or have a chance to try it at a tasting, but opinions are always my own.

A quick note on my (loosely applied) criteria. When choosing whiskeys for review, I have not so many requirements other than that the whiskey should ideally have been released within the last few months and that the bottles are available for purchase to the general public, preferably to a global market. Also keep in mind that the prices I include here may not be the same elsewhere where you can find the bottle either.

I will also include some links at the bottom of this article to my previous review listings.

Here is a guide to my scoring system. I rate whiskeys out of 10 to the nearest half points:

0-4 – Avoid this bottle

5 / 5.5 – Barely acceptable

6 / 6.5 – Decent enough, not really for me, but you liked it

7 / 7.5 – Good

8 / 8.5 – Extremely good

9-10 – Absolutely superb

The whiskeys are listed in alphabetical order:

Agot PX Edition, $ 58, 46% ABV

Description: This 4-year-old Spanish malt whiskey from the Spanish distillery Basque Moonshiners is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon, Rioja red wine and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.

Nose: Many small contributions are gathered equally to form a wonderful whole. For me, there is a little bit of leather, licorice, cherries, raisins, French sage and black tea.

Taste: Cakey. It is the combination of malt, bananas and toasted carrots that creates a one-two-beat banana bread and carrot cake. Ginger and rosemary add sour and aromatic spices to accompany a tannic acid finish.

Overall: Extremely well-balanced and subtly rich for such a young whiskey. 8.5

Agot Pioneer 4.6 Edition, $ 58, 46% ABV

Description: This three-year-old malt whiskey from Basque Moonshiners is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and French oak that used to hold Rioja red wine.

Nose: Soft and indulgent. Milk chocolate, cinnamon, apricots and pear crumble.

Taste: Cake seems to be a theme in the whiskey from this distillery. This time it’s a vanilla coconut cheesecake topped with toasted flakes of almonds. Some cinnamon and dark chocolate also manage to drift in.

Overall: A dessert in a glass, but does not get clumsily sweet. 8

Compass Box Orchard House, 57 USD, 46%

Description: A new addition to Compass Box’s core range of whiskeys, Orchard House aims to showcase the fruity profile of the malt included in its recipe.

Nose: Apples. Lots of them. Also some bulbs. Do what is written on the can. However, cucumbers and aloe vera give a refreshing touch along with a little bit of mineral layer.

Taste: A dry refreshing cider in whiskey form. Apples are still in the center, but backed by cherries and lots of warming winter spices, including cloves and cardamom. Walnuts add a bit of pleasant earthiness along with a light tannic acid finish.

Overall: If mulled wine is too weak for you, this is what you want. 7.5

Redbreast Lustau Edition, $ 70, 46% ABV

Description: This single pot still Irish whiskey has been finished for a year on former Oloroso sherry casks.

Nose: The sherry element makes itself known through a tinge of grapes and cinnamon, but garden soil and apple cider vinegar really expand the nose nicely in different directions.

Taste: The sugar hits first before blackberries and other shrubs fill things in. There is a touch of cucumber-herbal freshness and also a fennel kick. The finish is surprisingly strong, a bit like black coffee.

Overall: Although it is fruity and fresh, there is also plenty to enjoy at the end. 8

Redbreast PX Edition, $ 92, 46% ABV

Description: A limited edition whiskey from Redbreast has been matured in a combination of Oloroso sherry and ex-bourbon casks before being finished in PX casks.

Nose: Cherry and Snickers candy bars show up first, but mint, Brazil nuts and even a little bit of paprika come through as well.

Taste: Rich and malted. Horlicks, milk chocolate, honey and bananas form a nice core. A splash of licorice on the back of the tongue along with a bit of ginger gives a bold pass.

Overall: Nicely balanced between fruity and rich aromas and flavors. 7.5

The Single Cask Tullibardine 6 years old, $ 75, 65.5% ABV

Description: This is a very affordable 6 year old single Oloroso hogshead dish from Tullibardine, released by the independent bottler The Single Cask.

Nose: Sherry bomb territory. This includes the usual suspects; raisins, plums, cloves and cinnamon. However, there is a nice layer of flowers, including jasmine and lavender. A touch of leather supports it all fine.

Taste: Greasy and spicy! The leather is more prominent now, and the overall profile is becoming much more meaty, like a charcuterie dish. Cherries and mint play a minor supporting role.

Overall: A challenging dram that is not for everyone. 8

Waterford The Cuvée, $ 92.50, 50% ABV

Description: After releasing various single-origin whiskeys, Waterford’s new flagship release, Cuvée, has been ‘assembled’ much in the same way as a Cognac, blending the unique profiles that each origin whiskey provides.

Nose: Delicious elements of cream, wax, dough, vanilla and nutella are offset by a raw whiff and a strange touch of scrambled eggs.

Taste: A thick creamy texture serves pears, parsley, a slightly salty note, nutella, but also a blob of rubber and rawness in the finish.

Overall: It’s promising, but the overall profile is still too raw. 5.5

Waterford Biodynamic Luna 1.1, $ 110, 50% ABV

Description: This is the world’s first biodynamic certified whiskey to further cement Waterford as a leading pioneer when it comes to exploring how barley affects the taste of whiskey and sustainable production.

Nose: A broad spectrum that tends towards sweet and herbal. Licorice, strawberries, peanut butter and even some leather sneak in. A slightly doughy rawness, however, dampens the party.

Taste: Malted and tannic acid. A creamy mouthfeel is followed by black tea tannins. There’s also a waxy note in there.

Overall: This is a really interesting dram, but the tannins are too isolated, so it’s a bit unbalanced in general. 7

Previous reviews: September 2021, August 2021, July 2021

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