Today if anyone mentions an Irish Coffee, you say Jameson. If you say Irish Whiskey, you still say Jameson, unless you’re an anorak, than you might say something different, like Connemara, if you like it peated, or Teeling, or Middleton. Enough to choose from and Irish Whiskey is on the rise again, and that is really great! It’s the ancient battle between the Scottish and the Irish, where Whiskey originated from, so why then is the Scottish Whisky so big and why was the Irish Whisky nearly dead in the recent past? There are enough examples of fabulous Irish Whiskeys and there is this Jameson. The oldest and best known of all Irish Whiskeys. Again a bottle you see in all the hotel bars and restaurant and in many homes as well.
When I started getting interested in Whisky in general, a long, long time ago, it started with Jim Beam White, the obvious Jack Daniels, Scottish blends like Teachers and Grant’s, and this Jameson. I hated Jack Daniels and Jameson actually, so I moved quickly into Single Malts and was immediately sold on Aberlour and Laphroaig. The rest is history.
Nose: Toffee and caramel. Grainy, fruity and quite fresh. The fruity note is quite lovely. Actually it reminds me of Gin a bit. The fresh, juniper like smell with some well hidden clean alcohol. Definitely grainy and seems to me in part like a sweet Dutch Jenever. It also has a paper like quality. This really smells nice, and I don’t recognize the nose from the first bottle of Jameson’s I had. Is that saying something about me, or is that saying something about Jameson? When the Gin aroma’s dissipate a bit, it at least smells like a Whiskey. And a very pleasant one too. Hints of spicy wood, paper and light wax.
Taste: Paper soaked in sweet apricot water. Definitely a bigger and sweeter body, than I remember from my first encounter with this Whiskey. Yes, slightly fruity sugar-water, with a hint of Whiskey. This sounds pretty negative, but let me tell you it is tasty (in a way). It is nice, very light and extremely simple stuff, but tasty nevertheless. No real off notes, not even the paper notes. but also hardly a Whiskey I guess. Short warming finish, with a short but nice aftertaste. Should work well in Irish Coffee! Otherwise, this is only suitable as an aperitif. If you use this as an after dinner dram, you’ll lose a lot of the subtleties.
This actually smells quite nice, I’m surprised. It is something you could drink easily. How is easy. Anything goes. Mix it, drink it straight out of the bottle, use a straw, you name it. It’s the Whisk(e)y-worlds lemonade, and not as horrible as I remember it. Compared to the “Select Reserve” this is more vibrant and a tad more fruity and playful which suits this destillate. I prefer this one, but the 18yo is way better, way more special, and costs more. If you’re interested in the Jameson 18yo, you’d probably do better with a Redbreast 15yo, but I think I mentioned that before.