Origin: Cork (Ireland)
Type: Blended Irish Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry Oloroso
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Pernod Ricard
Average price: € 180.00
Official website: www.jamesonwhiskey.com
Needless to say, Jameson is a true cornerstone of Irish distilling.
Created in Dublin in 1780 (but production has then moved to Cork), Jameson has now been around the world for more than a century with such high sales that it has become synonymous with Irish Whiskey.
The 18-year-old expression has always been the pinnacle of the brand: it’s a blend of two triple-distilled pot-still single malts and a single grain, aged in a combination of European and American ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks, and then blended for three years in first fill ex-Bourbon casks. Over time, however, Jameson has offered Bow Street as a top-of-the-range bottling and a limited reserve of the 18 base released in 2009.
The one we review is the standard 18, bottled at 40% alcohol after filtration and colouring.
It’s an intense caramel colour, bright and shiny.
The nose is full of sweet and spicy notes: honey and noble wood, then butter, banana, toffee, but also more graceful notes of apple cider, coriander and orange peel.
The impact on the nose is important and inviting, but unfortunately it is less convincing in the mouth: it is all very clean and perfect, soft, persuasive, but with little impact for a bottle of this stature. In addition to the return of butter, banana and wood spices, there are a few notes of sherry and a touch of leather, but the substance always seems to be lacking. This is clearly the trademark of triple distillation, but in this case the result is unusually light and alcoholic as if it were a much younger product, burdened (so to speak) by the expectations of a rich and overabundant nose.
Expectations are also disappointed in the finish, which is both woody and sweetish at the same time: it dries out the tongue and leaves a slightly bitter-sweet aftertaste that invites you to drink, but leaves no memorable memories. The glass note, however, is impressive, with all the aforementioned olfactory scents re-exalted in a veritable symphonic concert of very long duration. If only that could happen on the palate as well…
It’s therefore an important bottle that seems, however, as often happens in these versions, designed more to respond to the taste needs of the mainstream public than to express a precise character of the brand. There is everything in ample doses, but the palate lacks the backbone that makes it unique and unmistakable, something that doesn’t happen with the mighty Bow Street bottled cask strength.
It will not fail to please most, but compared to other bottles of the same quality (and cost) it loses out in terms of a truly premium experience. By comparison, the 2009 Limited Reserve is certainly more interesting, selling for just over half the price of this old standard edition.
The Whiskey Jug