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Knappogue Castle 12 vs Jameson: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Knappogue Castle 12 vs Jameson in this head to head comparison and decide which Whiskey is better for You!

Knappogue Castle 12

NoseFruit, oak, vanilla, caramel
PalateFruit, vanilla, malt, oak
FinishOak, honey, oak spice
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toRedbreast 12

The Knappogue Castle is a triple-distilled Single Malt whiskey which is a bit uncommon for Irish Whiskeys which are normally made by blending malt and grain.

Knappogue Castle (Review) is distilled in copper pot stills, aged in ex-bourbon barrels, and bottled according to the year of distillation.

The nose is light on fruity displaying notes of tangerine, apricot and cherry, followed by vanilla and caramel and just a whiff of oak.

On the palate, it provides a medium body and an overly smooth flavor rich in fruity notes of tangerine, lemon and apricot, along a nice hit of vanilla and a malty touch.

The finish lingers with a pleasing warming note to it, honey sweetness and just a light bitter note coming from the oak spice.

Adding water brings more malt and oak while tuning down the rich fruity notes.

Knappogue is a nice and easy drinker, quite smooth with just a bit of a bite on the finish to remind you that you are drinking whiskey.

It doesn’t reach the heights of a good Single Malt Scotch from Speyside but way better than the average Irish Whiskey at a price that makes it appealing as it’s hard to find a good 12 year old single malt at this price.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Knappogue:

  • Crafted by Castle Brands which is one of the very few independent distillers in Ireland.
  • The brand is named after the Knappogue Castle in County Clare, originally built by Clan MacNamara in 1467.
  • The castle was restored by American-born Mark Edwin Andrews and his wife back in the 60s.
  • Gold – Irish Whiskey Masters 2022 – The Spirits Business.


NoseFloral, marmalade, caramel
PalateRipe fruit, vanilla
FinishMedium, caramel, spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toRed Label, Glenlivet

Jameson is the best-selling Irish whiskey across the globe for two reasons: It is smooth and affordable offering good value for the money; solid option for casual drinking or something not too pricey and still decent.

Nose is floral with sweet notes of orange marmalade and caramel with a bit of alcohol coming behind but nothing too severe.

On the palate the Jameson shows a good body, is sweet and fruity, with a high vanilla note. There is a pesky metallic note coming late to the party, not something terrible but weird.

The finish has a medium length, mostly sweet with a dash of black pepper on the tail.

It is a smooth and versatile whiskey that mixes nicely in any cocktail with no bad bite, well rounded and gets better when adding a splash of water, ginger ale or ice.

In fact, Jameson might well be the best whiskey for cocktails as it blends incredibly well with everything.

A few drops of water are enough to tune down alcoholic, peppery notes and that annoying metallic note.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Jameson Whiskey:

  • Jameson is a blend of malted and unmalted barley aged for at least 4 years in ex-bourbon casks from Kentucky and ex-sherry casks from Spain.
  • This whiskey is triple-distilled which is the norm in the Irish whiskey industry. Most spirits are double-distilled but the Irish add a distillation as they like smooth liquors.
  • Jameson is distilled at the Old Midleton Distillery in Cork, Ireland.
  • Jameson is owned by France-based Pernod Ricard along Glenlivet and Chivas Regal.

Knappogue vs Jameson: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Knappogue Castle 12$47

Knappogue Castle vs Jameson: Which is better?

The Knappogue is a better tasting whiskey

WhiskeyKnappogue CastleJameson
  • Knappogue is a nice sipping whiskey that serves as an affordable alternative to Single Malt Scotch while the Jameson is basically a handy mixer to make cocktails.
  • Knappogue is good, smooth, velvety, with no harsh or weird notes and way better than the average Irish Whiskey.