A rich and chewy entry in the Jameson range, with three styles of pot still spirit carefully balanced to produce a complex whiskey with spice, fruit and elegant oak.
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The Jameson Distillery was founded in 1780 by a Dublin grocer, John Jameson, along with 5 others. These were a mix of political exiles, property speculators and successful business people. None of them knew anything about distilling, but they knew a good investment when they saw one.
They bought the land next to the old distillery in Bow Street Dublin and opened up for business (A Nod to the Bowen Distilling Company?) The business thrived from the outset owing to the massive demand for Irish Whiskey in England at the time, a demand that had been created by the British Government who imposed a large excise duty on the English whisky industry. This resulted in the British industry being unable to market their whisky in England and unable to compete with their Irish counterparts.
Ireland had no duty on the production of Irish whiskey and Irish whiskey could enter England duty free. The result was that the English consumers were being flooded with good quality Irish whiskey at a fraction of the price of English whisky. Jameson five year old single malt was advertised 75% cheaper than the best English brandy. Even Queen Victoria, a great fan of Powers Whiskey, was scandalised enough to comment on the issue. The Queen ordered in 1876 that the duty on Irish whiskey should not exceed 1.5 pence per glass and she asked the Duke of Wellington, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, to ensure this. (Were the excise officers of the time, the Inland Revenue, the same as today, perhaps?) This was the turning point for Irish whiskey and the Jameson brand was instrumental in its success.
Jameson Gold Reserve, therefore, is paying homage to the political upheavals of the past, the tensions of the present and the great strides made in Irish whiskey in the last 100 years. It’s the blend that Jameson might have come up with in recent years to commemorate the establishment of the ‘Irish Free State’ in 1923. A fitting whisky to be welcome into the Jameson range of whiskeys, I’d say. And a brave leap for blending for the company.
Nose: Oak, vanilla, very red fruits, sticky dates, dark chocolate, brown sugar and some spicy notes. Very inviting indeed.
Taste: Again the initial taste is of oaky vanilla and then some nice fruit notes of plums, raisins, prunes and a rich red fruit syrup. The spirit is warming and palatable and the finish is long and intriguing. The aftertaste is an exciting mix of spices, fruits and chocolate before it slides down smoothly. Not a lot of burn either, very smooth and easy on the palate with a very pleasant aftertaste.
This is another Jameson masterpiece. It has a rich and smooth character and is very easy to quaff. It’s a fine sipping whiskey with a lot of elegance and poise. I’ve tried any number of Jameson expressions in the past, but I can unreservedly say I like this a lot. It’s a good whisky and one that will be welcomed by all Jameson fans. Highly recommended.
I think its fine so long as it doesn’t become a trend.
I’m also wondering why the industry hasn’t yet come out with a “Pure Pot Still” expression. Something along the lines of, say, Redbreast 12, that’s 100% single pot still whiskey. Adding grain whiskey to a single pot still whiskey, such as that in Jameson Gold, is a little bit like comparing the finest Japanese Wagyu to McDonalds.
Ageing. A number of years ago I think the industry made the mistake of ageing all their whiskey too long and too much. I’m glad to see a trend nowadays of less, rather than more, ageing. That’s one area that Jameson excelled in, in my opinion. Old Jameson in particular was lovely. Is there any plan to bring some of these older expressions back?