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Redbreast 12 vs Redbreast 15: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Redbreast 12 vs Redbreast 15 in this head to head comparison and decide which Irish Whiskey is better for You!

Redbreast 12

NoseVanilla, caramel, ginger, orange peel
PalateRipe fruit, citrus, sherry, baking spice, oak
FinishRipe fruit, citrus, sherry, baking spice, oak
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toGreen Spot, Cask Strength, Knappogue

The Redbreast 12 is crafted by Jameson Whiskey but don’t expect it to taste like it as this whiskey is supremely good as it goes toe to toe with some of the best Scotch whiskies.

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 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 heat, along baking spice and dried fruit.

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.

The price tag seems a bit high for a non Single Malt 12 year whiskey but you won’t remember it after a few rounds.

There a few facts worth knowing about the Redbreast 12:

  • 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.
  • 96 points from Whisky Advocate.
  • Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition on four separate occasions.
  • “Irish Whiskey of the Year” at the Irish Whiskey Awards in 2013.

Redbreast 15

NoseNuts, dried fruit, apricot, date
PalateDried fruit, roasted nuts, orange, baking spice
FinishLong, baking spice, dried fruit, oak
Alcohol content92 proof (46% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toRed Spot

The Redbreast 15 has two significant differences to its 12 YO sibling. First, it is bottled at a higher proof (92 vs 80) making the whiskey richer and creamier. Lastly, this release is non chill-filtered providing a fully-flavored experience.

The nose is light and quite pleasing with hints of roasted nuts and dried fruit at first followed by apricot and dates.

On the palate, the 15 YO feels smooth and velvety providing a great mouthfeel. Flavor hits with the same dried fruit and roasted nuts notes as in the nose, followed by orange peel and baking spice.

Oak is barely present which is surprising for a 15 Year Old Whiskey.

The finish lingers with a rewarding warming note, baking spice, dried fruit and quite subtle on the oak.

Adding a drop of water brings more oak and a tad of caramel, although this whiskey does not need water to get better as it’s incredibly good from the bottle.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Redbreast 15:

  • This release is a blend from whiskeys aged between 15 and 19 years old.
  • The barrel selection is from 1st fill bourbon and sherry barrels.
  • Gold Medal- Single Pot Still Whiskey 2019 Irish Whiskey Awards.
  • Crafted at the Jameson Old Midleton Distillery.

Redbreast 12 vs 15: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Redbreast 12$63
Redbreast 15$115

Redbreast 12 vs Redbreast 15: Which is better?

The 15 YO is an upgrade over the already good 12 YO

WhiskeyRedbreast 12Redbreast 15
  • The 15 YO is an improvement over the 12 YO as the additional proof brings more body along a nice warming note.
  • Additionally, not being chill-filtered makes it deeper and more tasty providing a more satisfying experience.
  • Is it worth the upcharge? That’s tough to answer but if you are made and having a great time go for it and enjoy a very good whiskey.
  • If you are a price-conscious shopper you could stay with the 12 YO and still enjoy a very good dram, significantly better than most 12 year Scotch whiskies.

If you want to learn more about this brand read my post Discover the Best Redbreast Whiskey where I rank every bottle.