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Proper 12 vs Tullamore D.E.W.: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Proper 12 vs Tullamore D.E.W. in this in-depth comparison and decide which Irish Whiskey is better for You!

Proper 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: Rocks
  • Similar to: Jack Daniel’s, Bushmills


The nose kicks-off with a blast of vanilla, followed by hints of caramel and a floral note.

On the palate, the body feels a bit thin lacking in body. Flavor provides ripe fruit up-front, followed by caramel and bit of black pepper but nothing too severe.

The finish has a decent length, with very little to no burn, leaving a nice aftertaste of orange, caramel and a tad of oak.

Is it good?

Proper 12 is surprisingly smooth and sweet as I was expecting a rougher whiskey coming from the much beloved Conor McGregor.

There is nothing remarkable about Proper 12 yet nothing off-putting. It drinks easy making a good beginner whiskey as it does not have any challenging tasting note.

This is so smooth that you can drink it either neat or rocks or use it in a mixer to make cocktails or use as an alternative to Jameson.

This whiskey has gained notoriety due to Conor McGregor’s sponsorship.

McGregor partnered with Ken Austin, who sold Avion Tequila to Pernod Ricard and is also the man behind Dwayne the Rock Johnson’s Teremana Tequila.

Proper 12 facts:

  • Proper 12 receives its name from Dublin 12, the area in which he grew up.
  • Conor McGregor partnered with Ken Austin (former Avion Tequila and the man behind Teremana Tequila).
  • Proper 12 will be donating $5 of every case (12 bottles) sold to first responders around the world – up to $1 million annually.
  • Proper 12 is crafted at the Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland.

Tullamore D.E.W.

  • Nose: Caramel, ripe fruit, citrus
  • Palate: Vanilla, caramel, pepper
  • Finish: Short, caramel and a bitter note
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Slane, Jameson

Is it good?

The nose is sweet and smooth, with hints of caramel, ripe fruit and just a tad of ethanol.

On the palate, the Tullamore feels somewhat thin with not much body to it. Flavor brings vanilla and caramel notes up-front, followed by a peppery note.

The finish is short-lived, bringing some warmth, along a bitter note and a touch of caramel.

Is it good?

Not the best sipping whiskey, due to those peppery notes on the palate and the bitter note on the finish, but becomes serviceable when looking for an affordable option to make cocktails or Irish Coffee.

Adding ice tunes down the pepper but does nothing for the bitter note, so definitely this is something to use primarily as a mixer.

Tullamore D.E.W. is one of Ireland’s most traditional whiskeys.

It was established in 1829 and is named after Daniel Edmund Williams who started working for the distillery at the age of 15 as a stable boy to later become the owner.

The company is now owned by Williams Grant & Sons, headquartered in Scotland, who holds a bunch of brands including Glenfiddich, Balvenie and the Monkey Shoulder.

Tullamore DEW facts:

  • This whiskey has no age statement.
  • Is triple-distilled as most Irish whiskeys.
  • The D.E.W. is a blend of three different whiskeys: single malt, grain and pot still whiskey.
  • It is aged in refill barrels, ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.

Proper 12 vs Tullamore D.E.W.: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Proper 12$30
Tullamore D.E.W.$29

Proper 12 vs Tullamore D.E.W.: Which is better?

Proper 12 is a more versatile whiskey than the Tullamore D.E.W.

WhiskeyProper 12Tullamore D.E.W.
  • Proper 12 is quite smooth, with no off-putting or troubling notes making something you can drink either neat or rocks and also use a mixer to make cocktails.
  • Tullamore D.E.W. is somewhat warm, peppery and bitter serving primarily as a mixer to make cocktails; definitely doesn’t belong to the sipping category.
  • McGregor’s Proper 12 receives additional points for giving money to first-responders and the cool looking bottle.

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