Jameson Pure Pot Still Limited Reserve, 15 year old, 43%
Irish | $100.00
Antique gold. It’s the only 'pure pot still' whiskey produced at the Midleton distillery that’s available in the U.S., and its impact on the whiskey is enormous. Its flavors continue to evolve and are perfectly balanced with notes of lush fruit, toffee, fudge, almonds, and vanilla. It finishes long, with mature oak notes that linger. More seductive and not as bold as Jameson Gold. This is the definitive Irish whiskey-it's as simple as that! It will satisfy both Scotch and Irish whiskey drinkers. Don't come whining to me several months from now because you didn't get a bottle! Buy it now while you still can.
Rich, silky, and oily in texture. Extremely well-integrated flavors loaded with ripe berries, caramelized banana, nougat, date nut bread, glazed tangerine, and maple syrup, peppered with warming cinnamon, vanilla icing, and nutmeg. Firm, dry resinous finish to balance the sweetness. I love the pot still character and the lushness that some of the port-wood aging has imparted. If anything, even richer and more lush than the previous 2007 vintage I reviewed. Another classic Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve.
Jameson’s newest premium release. The combination of aging some of the pot still whiskey in port casks, including some older whiskeys (over 20 years old), and bottling at 46% ABV (and not chill-filtered) has helped make this a rich, deep, and complex spirit. This is a silky smooth, lush, multi-faceted whiskey with notes of honeydew melon, nectarine, banana bread, creamy vanilla, chocolate fudge, toffee, warming cinnamon, and nutmeg. The port influence marries nicely with robust oak notes, and the grain whiskey component helps to keep it very drinkable. A more intense affair when compared to the “great anytime” 18 year old expression. A classic after-dinner Irish whiskey.
Finished in fresh bourbon casks at Bow St. Distillery, Dublin, this batch has a greater intensity than the first. Baked lemon, vanilla toffee, ground ginger, and snuff. Warm and fruity, with sweet toffee notes, the ginger root leads a high-intensity spice assault, though the reassuring indulgence of the rich toffee never deserts you. Dried banana, herbal notes, and lemongrass outline the finish.
Jameson Caskmates Angel City Brewing Co. Edition, 40%
Blended Irish Whiskey | $30
A brilliant collaboration with the Los Angeles craft brewery, the nose has red apple, dry grasses, orange pith, toasted bakery goods, and background spices. The beer influence is every bit as good as Caskmates IPA. The palate is classic Jameson: honeyed, soft, light fruit, vanilla, and peppercorn, developing a wonderful creaminess, dark orange, further spices, and lastly, chocolate notes. Glowing and kind of dreamy.
Of all the Caskmates, this edition representing Brooklyn is more complex, and offers a greater balance between the fruit and pot still spices than all the rest. There are bright floral notes, citrus, dry spices, and roasted barley—everything in perfect harmony. Clementine, honey, nuts, tropical fruit, a few savory elements, with finely ground spices fizzling away under waves of citrus fruit, candied peel, and flakes of chocolate.
Unmistakably Jameson on the nose, this is a belter of a whiskey: honey, apple, toasted coconut, creamy vanilla, and sublime pot still spiciness. This offers sweet toffee and caramel, bursting with spices, just a hint of sherry, Brazil nut, vanilla, creamy oak, and a caressing mouthfeel. A triumph that exemplifies the glories of pot still blending, and its sherry influence makes for a rich ending.
Sumptuously rich and intense whiskey emerges from these double-charred casks; a seduction of butterscotch, treacle, toasted nuts, scorched coconut, raisin, and vanilla essence. Secure in its deep-centered sweetness, it revels in caramelized sugar, dark vanilla, pecan nut slice, crème brûlée, peppery spice, and fleshy fruits gloomily submerged in sticky, umber syrups. Memorable for its long, satisfying, toasted aftertaste, heavy on the vanilla and raisins.
Jameson Caskmates Great Divide Brewing Co. Edition, 40%
Blended Irish Whiskey | $30
The association with this Denver brewery has produced a whisky redolent of crabapple, tinned peach, leather bootstraps, vanilla pod, roasted malt, and spices left to blacken in the pan. This is a scrumptious whisky layered with mixed citrus, honey, shortbread, and lashings of vanilla creaminess. The clove, ground ginger, and black pepper lay down a solid foundation, superimposed with oak char and black coffee grounds in the latter stages.
A limited-edition cold-brew coffee infusion of roasted Arabica beans, this might be the most moreish drink I’ve had all year. Dark ruby in color with a nutty, velvety coffee bean aroma and dark fruits. While Jameson fruitiness is evident, floral notes are harder to detect. Smooth and creamy across the tongue, with blocks of cacao, praline, and dark toffee, it still finds a classic pot still spiciness to finish.
Bright sparks, these Jameson guys. This takes all the worldwide quality and balance of the standard bottle and adds a large dollop of pot still whiskey, providing plummy, rich fruits to the mix. They may have also upped the effects of oak, too, so there's an extra depth to the whiskey. Fans of the brand will love it, and pot still whiskey fans will appreciate an affordable full-flavored blend. (Value Pick)
The importance of master blender Billy Leighton to Jameson cannot be understated. His whiskey expresses smooth, creamy aromas with floral top notes; a treat of poached pear, golden delicious apple, and peppercorn spices. There’s a thick, clingy mouthfeel, with sweet barley sugar, gingersnaps, sultanas, and a peppery flare. Undoubtedly the best spicy pot character of the three Whiskey Makers series, and that warming spiciness plows on into a lengthy finish. €70
Jameson Bow Street 18 year old Cask Strength, 55.3%
Blended Irish Whiskey | $200
This whiskey finishes its maturation at Bow St., Dublin, the first time this former distillery site has been involved in any whiskey production since 1975. A beautiful balance between toffee, spice, and oak, this has aromas of concentrated citrus, polished oak tables, caramels, and nut brittle. A supremely smooth concoction of dark nutty toffee, vanilla, pepper, clove, and oak. The strength is epic. Fabulous, rewarding special occasion stuff.
Hoppy notes cloaking the crisp grains, green apple, and pomelo make for a happier marriage than its stout sibling. This is one of those whiskeys that continuously evolves in the mouth, progressing from a sweet, syrupy beginning of coconut macaroons, apple, and spices, to a creamier plateau of citrus, stewed fruits, and chocolate. It departs leaving the tongue weighted down with peppery spice and cooked apple. Unexpectedly delicious. Value pick
Fresh, clean floral scents, light honey, golden syrup, and a hoppy edge hail this latest collaboration created by finishing Jameson whiskey in barrels seasoned with Chicago-based Revolution Brewing’s Fist City pale ale. The taste begins with fresh hoppy notes, slightly herbal, with gentle spices and an active pepperiness that grows larger in the headlights. The long spicy aftertaste follows the vestiges of the creamy nougat, vanilla, and green apple flavors.
Named because it’s triple-distilled and matured in sherry, bourbon, and malaga casks, this has a syrupy, fruity sweetness with notes of red cherry, green apple, pear, peeled clementine, vanilla toffee, and a generous helping of pot still spiciness. Orange and lemon segments, red apple, caramel, Jell-O cubes tossed in powdered sugar, and background spices make this sweeter and fruitier than regular Jameson, though the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (U.S. Travel Retail exclusive)
Jameson Caskmates Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. Edition, 40%
Blended Irish Whiskey | $30
Spicier and funkier than other Caskmates, this is where Irish whiskey meets Scott Vaccaro’s brews from the Lower Hudson Valley. This is self-assured with dark ale aromas, cinnamon bark, grapefruit, bitter lemon, and some savory notes. The pot still spices work overtime, complementing the dark honey, apple, and creamy beer notes. It feels a little out of focus, with pulses of flavor rather than a smooth development.
Master distiller Brian Nation has the most vital job at Midleton. His distillate-driven whiskey is light, perfumed, floral, and ripe with succulent fruits of Galia melon, apricots, and citrus pith. A smooth, creamy mouthfeel of barley sugars, dried banana, and lime zest ends with light vanilla sponge and orange frosting. Sucked Jaffa segments make for a quick finish. The most distinctive of the Whisky Makers trio, where the grain and pot still contributions are clearly evident. €70
Master cooper Ger Buckley has the most significant job at Midleton. Named after the croze that he uses to cut the groove for the cask head, these older-aged whiskeys give his rendition a broad back of toasted oak, vanilla pods, and cracker bread, with dark sultanas from the oloroso sherry casks. This has a richer, warm, glossier mouthfeel, showing toffee, vanilla, lump charcoal, and black fruits. A shadow of bitter oak creeps in toward the dying moments.
This final lesson in the Deconstructed Series teaches us of the cask influence of the wood. The nose is warm and inviting, with toasted oak, rich vanilla, and bruised orchard fruit in a cider press. Sipping is rewarding: caramelized apple, oily pot still spiciness, toasted coconut, crunchy oat bars, cinnamon bark, dark treacle, pecans, and plump raisins. The creaminess of vanilla custard develops with dilution. If you’re late for final boarding, this is the one to grab. (Travel Retail exclusive) €36
The second installment in the deconstruction of Jameson Original, this is a punchy, pot still-led whiskey with a nose of white peppercorn, cinnamon breakfast cereal, whole nutmeg, and a chocolate-coconut slice. Soft, waxy beginning, strong vanilla flavors, golden syrup, fresh apple, and huge barley notes, though the spices are surprisingly easygoing. It’s worth comparing to its brothers, Lively and Round. Of the trio, this is closest to Original. Peppery finish with long lasting barley sweetness. (Travel Retail exclusive) €36
Meet the undisputed driver of the Irish whiskey resurgence. The nose is light, with baked apple strudel, toasty staves, and hints of the bourbon and sherry cask influence. There are discernible pot still elements contributing a fruity character and plenty of weight. This dominant triple distilled whiskey is smooth, sure, although that characteristic improves noticeably up the range. Expect Braeburn apples, raspberry, strawberry, currants, and mixed peel, with a short finish of cinnamon spice and a dull fruit note.
Cork’s Franciscan Well brewery borrowed some whiskey casks, but now Jameson has taken them back to make Irish whiskey aged in craft stout barrels. On the nose, roasted coffee beans, 70% chocolate, green apples, juicy cantaloupe, and a buzz of hops. The thick, creamy mouthfeel tastes of stout, with strong chocolate and coffee notes and a tight, spicy finish. Perplexingly experimental in results. A whiskey for stout drinkers? A stout for whiskey drinkers? Incomparable to other Jameson. Funny peculiar. €45
Explore the grain side of Jameson’s personality in this first specimen from the Deconstructed series. Expect floral aromatics and a mixed crate of fresh citrus fruit, so it smells closer to the airport’s perfume counter than the whiskey store. Strands of honey, squeezed citrus, and vanilla blossom amid a thickening mouthfeel after a feather-light beginning. It’s tooth-achingly sweet, but daubed with lime and sweet clementine, leading to a dry, warm finish with chalky candy. (Travel Retail exclusive) €36