Jameson Tasting Notes

Posted: July 1, 2016 in Blended Irish Whiskey, Blended Whisky

Jameson 40%

Tasted: Nov 2011

Quite a dense nose, with that boiled sweet/ confected sherry character. Actually quite well balanced with some oily Pot Still malt and pleasantly integrated floral grain balancing. With time a touch of spice appears.

Softly sherried with a slightly more homogenous palate, but the oily Pot Still malt is still present and the floral grain notes come through on the finish.

Jameson Original 40%

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Quite honeyed and rounded with herbal grain, banana bread, rose oil, vanilla and sweet grain.

Palate: Soft and straightforward with hints of dried fruit, coffee, honey, malt and herbal grain. The grain dominates the mid palate.

Finish: Medium length with lots of herbal grain and a touch of coffee.

Conclusion: A straightforward but well made blend.

Jameson Crested 40%

Tasted: July 2016

Nose: Dense, full and fleshy with hints of apricot, honey and smoke. Well balanced with some sweet grain making an appearance with time.

Palate: Crisper and more grain focused, but the grain has a delightful sweetness and fills out the palate well in the absence of any malt character. Hints of honey, apricot and citrus on the middle.

Finish: Medium length and continuing sweet and grainy but some crisper grain notes add a bit of bite and spice.

Conclusion: Someone has paid attention to the grain here and subsequently it feels more like a vatted grain than a true blend. Anyway it’s still very enjoyable.

Jameson Signature 40%

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Soft, dried fruit with a touch of crisp grain. The grain becomes quite dominant, but does develop a sweet edge. Late hints of herbal honey, vanilla and coconut.

Palate: Saline and very grainy to begin with, followed by a touch of dried fruit, barley and vanilla. The grain comes through forcefully on the middle.

Finish: Long with lingering sweet grain, banana and toasty oak spice.

Conclusion: A pleasant, grain heavy blend with a good, spicy finish.

Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch 40%

Nose: Burnt tar, burnt toast and heavy treacle. Chunky and clunky with what appears to be a good degree of malt. With time some light smoke.

Palate: Soft, straightforward, caramel and citrus. Mouth-filling but simple.

Finish: Medium length.

Conclusion: Uninspiring!

Jameson Gold Reserve 40%

Takes its unique character from the small selection of traditional pot still whiskeys matured in new oak which is used in the blend.

A wonderfully soft and smooth nose showing some maturity. Big and aromatic, the honey coated barley and grains mingle with the toasted oak which gives it a light bourbony character. There are lashing of wood spices along with a slight creamy and floral note.

The palate is similarly soft and smooth, beginning with the honey coated barley followed by the hugely spicy wood which builds to a bitter crescendo, which offsets the honeyed sweetness perfectly. It’s big and luscious and although the mouth is coated in an oily/ creamy residue the grains return to give it a lovely crisp finale.

Jameson Limited Edition St Patrick’s Day 46%

Tasted: June 2016

Nose Very grain dominated with dried fruit, both grain and sherry derived, along with hints of wood smoke/ spice, treacle and a late hint of fennel.

Palate: Simple and straightforward with creamy oak and grainy dried fruit plus a subtle sherry sweetness.

Finish: Medium length and grain dominated with lingering herbal spice.

Conclusion: A pleasant, simple, inexpensive blend. Well I hope it’s inexpensive!

Jameson Cask Mates 40%

Jameson Caskmates is an intriguing release. Having sent some of their casks to the local craft stout brewers at Franciscan Well, the casks were returned to Midleton where they were subsequently used to give a stout finish to Jameson!

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Showing some lovely mature, dusty oak and beautiful, tropical melon, apricot, lime, greengage and lightly perfumed honey. Hints of rose petals, malt and aged grain appear along with a touch of milk chocolate.

Palate: Crisper and fresher, but no less complex with oodles of tropical fruit, straw, malt, honey and sawdusty oak. The younger grain element pleasantly nips and the older grain adds dried fruit notes.

Finish: Long and succulent with a herbal grain finish and plenty of dried fruit along with dark and milk chocolate.

Conclusion: A superb balance of young and older spirits at work here!

Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel 40%

First Fill Bourbon and Sherry casks, with a high proportion of Irish pot still whiskey as well as small batch grain.

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Mature and quite grain heavy with dried fruit, treacle and spice. I’m guessing this was aged in first fill American oak as it becomes very ‘Bourbony’ and toasty with rye-like herbal spice.

Palate: Opens with the mature-ish grainy dried fruit. The oak is subtler, adding hints of coffee, spice and chocolate powder. The grain notes come back on the middle.

Finish: Long, succulent and grainy with plenty of dry, chocolaty tannins and lingering toasty oak.

Conclusion: If only the nose had shown the balance of the palate it would have scored a lot higher!

Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel 40%

Re-Tasted: Feb 2017

Nose: A lovely intense nose with plenty of verve and a touch of what appears to be pot still spice. Excellent depth with plenty of ‘Bourbony’ oak and a touch of grain.

Palate: A little leaner and showing more grain spirit character. Like the nose there is a touch of pot still spice and possibly some sherrywood influence. The intensity builds well.

Finish: Intense and dry with the alcohol being rather noticeable on the finish, but those spices linger well.

Conclusion: All in all it’s pretty good. 

Jameson Distiller’s Safe 43%

The Distiller’s Safe is head distiller Brian Nation’s choice in Jameson’s The Whisky Makers series.

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Plenty of middle aged grain and hints of grass, gooseberry, lime, apricot and spice. Fills out well when the marzipan oak appears.

Palate: Full and juicy with banana, apricot, honey and oak. The mature-ish grain comes through on the middle.

Finish: Long and subtly spiced with lingering grain and vanilla.

Conclusion: A pleasant blend which shows some maturity.

Jameson Cooper’s Croze 43%

The Cooper’s Croze is part of Jamesons’ The Whisky Maker series and has been selected by head cooper Ger Buckley to highlight the role wood plays in whiskey maturation.

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Intense, crisp almost pot still spicy aromas with banana, apricot, vanilla, white chocolate, rose oil, subtle sherried dried fruit and a touch of mature grain.

Palate: Soft and chocolaty with plenty of malt, vanilla and a touch of grain. Not as complex as the nose but pleasantly deep with developing spice and grain on the middle.

Finish: Long and oily with toffee and subtle chocolaty spice.

Conclusion: Superb nose. If the palate showed the same level of complexity, it would have been a contender.

Jameson Blender’s Dog 43%

Launched in 2016, The Blenders’ Dog has been selected by head blender Billy Leighton. A combination of ages and cask types

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Crisp and very grainy with hints of white fruit and vanilla. Quite youthful with the grain beginning to dominate. The oak is pleasantly toasty though.

Palate: Herbal and grainy with the oak showing more subtlety. Relatively straightforward with developing grainy dried fruit.

Finish: A little short and spicy with lingering dried fruit.

Conclusion: Where is the malt? It feels like it is all grain spirit and oak.

Jameson Deconstructed Series – Round 40%

Travel Retail

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Sugar coated moist fruitcake with hints of marzipan, barley and spice. The rummy grain is well integrated and with time a slight saline note appears along with coffee and toffee notes.

Palate: Relatively straightforward with sherried dried fruit and crisp grain. Quite malty and salty on the middle with maybe a touch of pot still spice.

Finish: Pleasantly spicy and salty with a dried fruit, spice and vanilla finish.

Conclusion: A pleasant blend which shows a little mature spirit at its core. Good spicy finish, even if it’s a little austere.

Jameson Deconstructed Series – Lively 40%

Travel Retail

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Smoky, toasty and primal with grain, earth and manure. Hints of vanilla appear but the relatively mature, grainy dried fruit dominates.

Palate: A little watery and mature grain spirit dominated with hints of toffee and spice. Oak begins to bitter on the middle.

Finish: Long and grainy with lingering dried fruit and vanilla.

Conclusion: I would have like to have seen more malt input.

Jameson Deconstructed Series – Bold 40%

Travel Retail

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Rich and spicy with a touch of sherry wood and sweet grain. Full and fleshy with apricot, honey, vanilla, liquorice and coffee.

Palate: Plenty of dried fruit, both grain and sherry derived with a touch of malt and coffee’d tannins.

Finish: Good spicy finish with lingering grainy dried fruit and coffee.

Conclusion: Pleasant and easy going.

Jameson Limited Reserve 18 year old 40%

Is a blend of two potstill whiskies and a single grain is matured in Oloroso sherry casks and finished in bourbon wood for 6 months

Btl No: 319736 JJ 18-8/ Tasted: Mar 2013

Now those aromas have definitely got some age to them! Big, spicy grains mingle with a lot of sweet sherry and sweet Bourbon oak notes. Serious Pot Still spices go head-to-head to head with the oak and win! Very complex and evolving with some slightly tropical banana and apricot emerging with a lithe perfumed edge. With time some leather and tobacco notes join in. A seriously brilliant whisky, with all the components, grain, whisky and oak all playing a part.

The palate is soft and silky with the sherried fruit showing first along with hints of leather and tobacco. This is followed by the gentle, but biting grain and vanilla oak, which does grip the middle a tad giving the impression of less complexity. Grainier and quite spicy on the finish. That combination of pot still and grain gives it a very austere Bushmills kind of feel to the proceedings. Ok, so it has a little bit of a wobble on the middle as the oak grips but that finish is sensational.

Jameson 18 year old 40%

Re-Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Quite saline with a subtle pot still spiciness. Hints of dried banana and apricot plus crsip and spicy grain. Very subtly oaked with just a touch of toasty vanilla.

Palate: Soft but heavy on the toffee and caramel notes, which dampen the palate somewhat. Hints of grainy dried fruit but it’s a bit straightforward and lacking the complexity of the nose.

Finish: Long and spicy. Now the pot still and the grain component come through.

Conclusion: It all seems to happen on the finish.


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