Origin: Cork (Ireland)
Type: Blended Irish Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Beer
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Pernod Ricard
Average price: € 25.00
Official website: www.jamesonwhiskey.com
The Caskmates series of the famous Irish blended was born in 2014 and aims to celebrate the ‘kinship link’ between whiskey and beer, using finishing casks that have contained different types of Irish craft beer for shorter or longer periods of time.
The first version showed a finishing in stout, while the one in this article, which debuted in 2017, is aged in ex-Jameson casks in which Irish Pale Ale from Cork’s Franciscan Well brewery has rested for some time.
These two were followed by several special editions dedicated to individual breweries.
You can’t say that the beer ageing suffers from shyness, with the sour and hoppy hints emerging proudly on the nose: the whiskey seems to have disappeared and you are almost surprised not to see any foam in the glass. Digging beneath this initial impact you find intense herbaceous scents and grapefruit, apple juice, blueberries, a touch of almonds and brown sugar emerge. Curious.
In the mouth, the influence of the beer continues to be strong, albeit in a less overwhelming way, with the omnipresent hops not letting go like a Teuton with mugs at Oktoberfest. The tones remain on the citrusy and fresh line, with a hint of ginger and cloves, while the sweet component remains muted with vague notes of honey and fruit gelée.
The finish is not very long and dry, bitterish, with grapefruit, green apple, honey and, of course, hops.
You can’t decide whether to love or hate this whiskey pretending to be a beer, finding the overwhelming influence of the latter a rape of the Irish spirit or a country fair curiosity. It’s as easy to drink as an IPA, so it’s not so bad: in the end it’s a matter of taste, and for what it costs, well worth a glass (or two).