Review: Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey

A few weeks ago when I received this sample of Proper No. Twelve in the mail, I posted about it on social media. I received a few comments and DMs from folks telling me they did not care for it. I respect people’s opinions, especially when it comes to something as subjective as whiskey. You like what you like. For me, I try not to read whiskey reviews until I have some notes and my opinion jotted down as to not influence my thoughts. That’s the case here.

If you’re not aware, Proper No. Twelve is Conor McGregor’s Irish Whiskey. It’s a triple-distilled blended whiskey made from grain and barley, and bottled at 40% abv. The whiskey is aged at least three years. We don’t know much more about the whiskey itself. One more thing – $5 from every case sold goes to local first responder organizations around the world. I love when whiskey brands give back to their communities.

Onto the whiskey – the nose is light and vibrant with hints of sweet grain and honey. On entry, more of the sweet honeyed grain comes through. There’s a slightly “green” quality about it, indicating the presence of a lot of young grain whiskey in the blend. Pine nuts and a touch of oak spice pop in mid-palate with light fruit. There’s a rough-around-the-edges alcohol quality here that starts to overwhelm the entire tasting experience, and it continues through the short finish.

Woof! Proper No. Twelve is not something I’d reach for again to drink neat. There’s zero complexity here. Hell, it’s not enjoyable on a base level. The kind of sweet young-ish profile is ruined by the ethanol notes found on the palate. Maybe it’s decent enough for a cocktail? More testing to come. I hope Mr. McGregor and his team can manage to tinker with their blend and use more malt and less young grain, even if it means a price increase. People are willing to pay a little more for better whiskey. As it stands now, I can’t recommend this one.

Thanks to Proper No. Twelve for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

2 comments

  1. All whiskey sold in the USA including imports must carry an age statement if under 4 years old per federal code. Initially this didn’t but later I’ve seen bottles at store that did have aged 36 months on label. Much better Irish whiskey is available for the same price as this. As in the case of most celebrity promoted spirits, not worth buying.

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