Irish Whiskey Week – Day 3: Jameson 18yo “Master Selection” (40%, OB, JJ18-3)

Irish CloverDay three already of Master Quill’s Irish Whiskey Week, and no more Tyrconnell. Today we’ll focus on Jameson, because what would be an Irish Whiskey Week without Jameson! I’ve tried quite a few Jameson bottlings, but I have never found a bottle that scored over 80 Points, and although not bad, this may have fueled the prejudice I have (or had) against Irish Whiskey.

John Jameson was a Scottish businessman and in 1780 he acquired the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin. Today the Bow Street Distillery is a museum and visitors centre. The production has moved to the Midleton distillery in Cork. The Whiskey itself is produced from a mixture of malted and unmalted or Irish barley, mostly if not all sourced from within a fifty mile radius around the distillery.

Jameson 18yo Master SelectionColor: Copper gold

Nose: Deep and tarry wood, but also quite fruity. Nice to finally smell something Irish (and unpeated) which smells like it has some age and not so light all the time. Nice soft wood. Velvety feel and very elegant. The only thing that doesn’t work for me is the black fruit acidity. It hinders the balance of the nose, luckily the acidity is upfront and dissipates after a while, to leave more room for the oak. Give it some air and time.

Taste: Yes, quite some oak and again lots of sweet red fruits. The Whiskey is not sweet and does show some age. It has the same red fruits I taste in my beloved Redbreast 15yo! Creamy, powdery malty and dry, but with lovely red fruits and a good yet light and malty finish. Very easily drinkable at 40% ABV.

Actually I was quite surprised how nice this is, and how close the taste resembles the first Redbreast 15yo. This should not be a big surprise, since both come from the same Midleton distillery. Still, the Redbreast pack a lot more punch with its 46% ABV and is pretty special. This  Jameson however may have only 40% ABV which may let it down a bit, but is more easy-going and creamier.

This Jameson 18yo “Master Selection” has been rebranded as Jameson 18yo “Limited Reserve” some time ago. I haven’t tried this “new” version yet, so I don’t know how that one will hold up to this Master Selection, which was also produced in batches, hence the Batchnumber JJ18-3 in the title.

Points: 85

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