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Whisk(e)y Reviews

MAY 2020


Proper No. Twelve

Does Proper No. Twelve stand up to the likes of Irish Whiskey’s golden drams of Redbreast or Green Spot? No, but then again, it isn’t meant to.

Proper No. Twelve has generously provided us with a sample bottle to review, however due to our strict editorial guidelines, this review will remain unbiased. I will say that going in to this review, I was a little hesitant, as Proper No. Twelve, like its founder Conor McGregor, can be quite polarizing. That said, as far as my own palate goes, I was pleasantly surprised by the first sip. 

The name, Proper No. Twelve, comes from the Dublin neighborhood that Conor McGregor was raised in and is distilled and produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery, located in Ulster, Northern Ireland.   Proper No. Twelve is a blend of grain and single malt whiskies aged in ex-bourbon barrels. For each case of Proper No. Twelve sold, a portion is donated to First Responders around the world. This includes a $1 Million donation to the New York based Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Proper No. Twelve comes in at the Jameson and Bushmill’s price range. This is a whiskey, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, rather than to any particular subset of whiskey drinkers. This Irish Whiskey is amber in color. When swirled around in a Glencairn, it has long legs. The medium bodied whiskey has an oily mouthfeel, which keeps the flavors from dissipating too quickly. Proper No. Twelve follows along with the expected Irish Whiskey flavors on the palate. With Proper No. Twelve you have the flexibility to drink it on its own, be that sipping a pour over ice cubes, or neat; as well as, using it as the backbone of cocktails. Without further ado, let’s begin the review.

Age:           No age statement, triple distilled Irish whiskey

Bottled at 80 proof

Nose:         70/100

The aroma consists of pears, apples, nutmeg and oak.

Palate:        70/100

Toasted oak and tannins come at the front of the palate. Malt, nutmeg, apples and pears follow closely behind. Next some more charred oak shows up, rounded out with vanilla and honey, perhaps even mead-like sweetness holding together the different flavors.


Finish:        80/100

Warm spices and vanilla work their way down your throat, along with toasted and charred oak that linger around for a bit. The Finish culminates with crispness from the pear and apple flavors, lasting a reasonable amount of time. The tail end of the Finish with the crisp notes works really well for me and leaves a pleasant taste in my mouth.


Overall: 73/100

Recommendation:  Proper No. Twelve comes in at a reasonable price point and I find it enjoyable. Is it the best Irish Whiskey that I’ve ever had? No. Will I keep it around the house? Yes. It works great when you want whiskey, but don’t want to be bowled over by a higher proofed bourbon or Scotch. I recommend that you go out to your favorite watering hole, once the shelter-in-place orders are over, belly up to the bar and order a dram or two. Get to know it, and socialize with friends at the same time.