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Redbreast 12 vs Cask Strength: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Redbreast 12 vs Redbreast Cask Strength 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 or add water
Similar toKnappogue Castle, Redbreast 15

The Redbreast 12 is crafted by Jameson 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 Single Malt 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.

My only complaint is the proof which I feel is missing a bit, but overall this one of the best Irish Whiskeys you can buy today!

The price tag seems a bit high 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.

Redbreast 12 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 toBlue Spot

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. The sherry influence is barely noticeable when compares to the regular version.

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.

Is it good? Yes, in fact, this could well be the best Irish Whiskey along the Spot Whiskey range which should not come as a surprise as they are made at the same distillery.

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.

Redbreast 12 vs Cask Strength: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Redbreast 12$70
Redbreast 12 Cask Strength$90

Redbreast 12 vs Redbreast Cask Strength: Which is better?

Cask Strength is a step-up over the already good Redbreast 12

WhiskeyRedbreast 12Cask Strength
  • Cask Strength is the regular 12 YO on steroids as it delivers most of the flavors and feel but without water dilution providing a better experience.
  • Is it warm? Yes. It is harsh? NO!… If you feel the heat add water and little by little you will grow accustomed to it.

Over time you will become addicted to high proof whiskey and reject drinking watered-down whiskey… mark my words!