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Redbreast Classics Back Again

For decades, serious whiskey drinkers drank Irish "blended" whiskey, mixing it with cola or adding a dash to coffee. But, John Hansell, editor and publisher of Malt Advocate magazine, says that's changing. "The line between Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky has become blurred," says Hansell, since Irish whiskey companies like Bushmills and Jameson have expanded their range to include deluxe whiskies from aged blends to pure pot stills and their own brand of single malts. "The top Irish whiskeys are just as good as many single-malt scotches. It's too bad more people aren't aware of how complex some of these whiskeys have become."

In Scotland, a practice of using malted and unmalted barley in order to pay less tax on malted grain had persisted for some time. When this ceased in Scotland, the Irish carried it on. Irish Pure Pot Still whisky is simply that - made from a mixture of malted and unmalted barley, completely distilled in a pot still. They can be good - at times astoundingly so. In fact, if you want to try some of the UK’s most brilliant new drams, you cannot go past the likes of Redbreast or Greenspot. It’s not just our opinion, but one resounded amongst whisky writers around the globe. (Jim Murray and John Hansell - of maltadvocate - are in rare agreement here).

Irish Pure Pot Still whiskies are not only a category to themselves, they are amongst the hidden gems of the whisky world, and by world standards, remain relative bargains to boot.