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Macallan 12 Double Cask vs Redbreast 12: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Macallan 12 Double Cask vs Redbreast 12 in this head to head comparison and decide which whisky is better for You!

Macallan 12 Double Cask

  • Nose: Sherry, dried fruit, mixed nuts
  • Palate: Baking spice, oak, chocolate
  • Finish: Oak, dried fruit, oak spice
  • Alcohol content: 86 proof (43% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Grangestone 12


The nose is sweet, rich in sherry, dried fruit and oak.

On the palate, the Double Cask kicks-off with a blast of oak, followed by bitter chocolate, sherry and a bit of citrus. There is just a bit of warmth yet from the pleasant type as it’s not burny.

The finish is long, with more oak to it, rich in dried fruit and a tad of spice.

Is it good?

The Double Cask is rich in flavors, not too sweet, with a faint note of chocolate, a trace of spice, with a bit of warmth at the end and a noticeable oaky note making it a pleasing dram as it goes down nicely.

Overall, the Macallan 12 Double Cask serves as an introductory release to sherry cask matured Scotch before going for the sherry-bombs such as the Macallan Sherry Oak, although the deep oaky note can be harsh for some consumers.

Adding a splash of water will tune-down the oak and the warmth making it easier to drink. I would not use the Double Cask as a mixer due to its price.

Macallan Double Cask facts:

  • Macallan was aged for 12 years using a combination of American and European oak casks seasoned with sherry wine from Spain.
  • Earned Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2017.
  • The Macallan Distillery was founded in 1824 and is located in Craigellachie, Moray.
  • Macallan does not use caramel-coloring to make the whisky look more appealing, this practice is allowed under the set of rules that govern Scotch whisky but Macallan refrains from such questionable practice.
  • Macallan is a Speyside Whisky, the most densely populated Whisky region in the world. Speyside whiskies are known for being low in peat and full of fruit and are commonly matured in Sherry casks.

Redbreast 12

  • Nose: Vanilla, caramel, ginger, orange peel
  • Palate: Ripe fruit, citrus, sherry, baking spice, oak
  • Finish: Baking spice, red fruit
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Glenfiddich 12


The nose brings a rich vanilla note, followed by caramel, a touch of ginger and a tad of orange peel.

On the palate, the Redbreast 12 feels remarkably creamy with a rich texture that invites you to chew it.

Flavor brings ripe fruit up-front, followed by hints of citrus, sherry wine and a good hit of oak.

Finish is long, bringing pleasing warmth, along baking spice and dried fruit.

Is it good?

Redbreast is a fantastic whiskey better than many famous Scotch whiskies.

It strikes a perfect combination between sweet and spicy notes in an incredibly creamy body.

This whiskey drinks nicely neat and doesn’t need neither water nor ice and much less chaser as it goes down dangerously easy.

Redbreast 12 facts:

  • The Redbreast is made from malted and unmalted barley.
  • Triple-distilled in copper pot stills to later be aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso sherry wine casks. Oloroso is a dry and aromatic style of sherry wine made in Spain renowned for being delicious.
  • 96 points from Whisky Advocate.
  • “Irish Whiskey of the Year” at the Irish Whiskey Awards in 2013.

Macallan 12 vs Redbreast 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Macallan 12 Double Cask$76
Redbreast 12$70

Macallan 12 vs Redbreast 12: Which is better?

The Redbreast is a more tasty dram the Macallan

WhiskeyMacallan 12Redbreast 12
  • I find the Redbreast 12 to be richer and more satisfying than the Macallan 12.
  • Full of baking spice and dried fruit, with oak playing a secondary role and very little warmth providing a great experience from nose to finish.
  • The Macallan 12 hits harder with the oak which leads the orchestra leaving other flavors in the background.

Macallan 12 vs Redbreast 12: Differences

  • Macallan is a single malt whisky made exclusively from malted barley.
  • The Redbreast is made from malted and unmalted barley.
  • Macallan was double-distilled in pot stills.
  • Redbreast was triple-distilled in pot stills. The Irish as a norm triple-distill their whiskies as a means to ensure smoothness.
  • Macallan was aged for 12 years using a combination of American and European oak casks seasoned with sherry wine from Spain.
  • Redbreast was aged for 12 years using ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.
  • Macallan is the most prestigious Speyside whisky. Speyside are single malt Scotch whiskies, distilled in Strathspey, in northeastern Scotland. They are highly regarded for their creamy and smooth nature; they are also expensive!
  • Redbreast is crafted in the Old Midleton Distillery in Cork, Ireland. That’s the distillery where Jameson Whiskey is produced among several others.
  • Macallan is a whisky whilst Redbreast a whiskey; the Irish and the Americans add the E in whisky.

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