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Blue Spot vs Redbreast Cask Strength: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Blue Spot vs Redbreast Cask Strength in this head to head comparison and decide which Irish Whiskey is better for You!

Blue Spot

blue-spot-irish-whiskey
NosePear, peach, almond, vanilla
PalateCaramel, vanilla, baking spice, oak
FinishRipe fruit, baking spice, oak
Alcohol content117.4 proof (58.7% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water

The Blue Spot has two distinctive features: bottled at cask strength, meaning it was not diluted with water when pulled from the barrel and is not chill-filtered.

Aged for 7 years using bourbon, sherry and Madeira casks, made in a cooperage in the north of Portugal.

The nose brings some heat that gives way to notes of pear and peach at first, followed by roasted almond and vanilla providing a very nice aroma.

On the palate, the Blue feels full bodied delivering warmth up-front, but is not harsh. As you let it develop bourbon-like notes of caramel, vanilla, baking spice and oak pop-up along a touch of sherry.

The finish is long and satisfyingly warm, rich in ripe fruit, baking spice and oak.

A drop of water is enough to tune-down the warmth by a notch while releasing more caramel and oak making it easier to drink.

High proof does not equal harshness. This is a whiskey that drinks incredibly nicely despite the high proof, with some warmth to it that can easily be tamed.

After drinking it for a while you will find a hard time drinking lesser drams.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Blue Spot:

  • Proof (alcohol content) varies from batch to batch.
  • Made from malted and unmalted barley.
  • Gold at the Irish Whiskey Masters 2022.
  • Gold at the Irish Whiskey Masters 2021.

Redbreast 12 Cask Strength

redbreast-cask-strength
NoseBread, marzipan, vanilla
PalateDried fruit, baking spice, caramel, vanilla
FinishLong, oak, baking spice
Alcohol content112 proof (55.8% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toRedbreast 12

The Cask Strength is the same whiskey as the Redbreast 12 just that this iteration was bottled without water dilution, hence the steep difference in alcohol content.

In addition, this whiskey is not chill-filtered preserving the integrity of the flavors.

The nose has a rich brioche bread note, followed by hints of marzipan and vanilla.

On the palate, the Cask Strength delivers a super creamy body providing a supreme mouthfeel. The first sip feels warm as you might expect from the high proof but it’s not harsh.

Flavor hits with dried fruit, along rich baking spice notes of cinnamon and clove, with caramel and vanilla coming behind.

The finish is never-ending, with pleasing heat that warms the chest, oak and baking spice.

Adding water is recommendable as a means to tune-down the heat a bit, but as you grow accustomed to it you will drink it as is as there is no harshness in this pour.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Cask Strength:

  • Made using a blend of malted and unmalted barley.
  • Aged for 12 years using Sherry and Bourbon casks.
  • Proof varies from batch to batch.
  • Irish Whiskey of the Year & Best Irish Cask Strength 2018 & Winner.
  • Best Irish Cask Strength 2019.

What do the Blue Spot and Redbreast Cask Strength have in common?

Both are crafted at the same distillery

These whiskeys, along several other Irish drams including Jameson Whiskey, are crafted at the Old Midleton Distillery in Cork, Ireland.

It must be noted that these brands belong to different parent companies as the Redbreast is owned by Paris-based Pernod Ricard while the Spot Whiskey is owned by Dublin-based Mitchell & Sons.

Are Blue Spot and Redbreast Cask Strength the same whiskey?

Barrel management makes them different

  • The Blue Spot is aged for 7 years using Bourbon, Sherry and Madeira casks.
  • The Redbreast is aged for 12 years in Sherry and Bourbon casks.

Blue Spot vs Redbreast Cask Strength: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Blue Spot$165
Redbreast 12 Cask Strength$90

Blue Spot vs Redbreast Cask Strength: Which is better?

The Redbreast is supremely good

WhiskeyBlue SpotCask Strength
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Blue Spot feels warmer which is natural for a younger spirit that was only aged for 7 years.
  • It has some nice nutty tasting notes from the Madeira casks but it’s price really seems excessive to me.
  • The Redbreast Cask Strength feels smoother providing a much better experience than the already good regular Redbreast 12.

Regardless of which you choose you will be taking home one of the top Irish Whiskeys.