I’ve seen this before, and I’ve had a pour or two when I was out and bourbon wasn’t an option. But since it is “that time of the year” when everyone sports the green, I decided to grab a pint, have a pour, and share my impressions of Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Jameson makes a number of brands and variations of its Irish Whiskey – some better than others. This pour was of its standard, green bottle, Irish Whiskey.
A Scotsman making Irish Whiskey
Today, the Jameson brand is owned by the French global spirits company Pernod Ricard, which traces its roots to the late 1700’s.While you may not recognize its parent company, many would recognize some its global brands: Absolut vodka, Beefeater gin, Glenlivet scotch, Kahlua coffee liqueur, Malibu rum, Redbreast Irish whiskey, and the Jameson at hand.
While a Scotsman by birth, John Jameson and his son (also named John) began producing their Irish-style of whiskey in 1780 when they took over the Bow Street Distillery, located in Dublin. While rum was the number one spirit in the world at the time, Jameson quickly grew his style of whiskey in popularity. By 1805, the Bow Street Distillery was the largest whiskey producer in the world.
Today, the original distillery in Dublin is a tourist attraction and the product is primarily made in Cork. Jameson remains the most widely sold Irish whiskey, and 90% of its bottles are exported around the world. Jameson touts a triple-distilled process, removing more of the impurities found in a single or double-distilled product. Whiskeys and bourbons typically utilize a pot still (similar to a large, covered copper kettle) or a column still (imagine a tall, copper smoke-stack like column – utilized at Old Forester and Wild Turkey, for example). A few American distillers utilize a pot still – most notable – Woodford Reserve.
Bottled at 80 proof, the label does not provide a statement of age, but is assumed to be at least 4 years old. The mash bill is comprised solely of local, kiln-dried, malted and green (unmalted) barley.
To the eye and swirled in a glass, Jameson has a light, golden color. Nosed in a glencairn glass, there are light notes of vanilla and malt. On the palate, it’s light, clean with more malt, vanilla, with slight notes of caramel and even chocolate-like cocoa. The finish is short and smooth with more malt with notes and wood.
At around $24, Jameson is a nice introduction to the fast growing Irish whiskey scene. You’ll find a product that reflects the Irish style of whiskey – clean and light. It’s not complicated, and is equally at home neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail.