Barrels and Mash Goes Irish at Pub W

It’s no secret that we’ve become fans of the monthly rotating whiskey flights that Pub W started doing a few months back. Lately they’ve even let us chip in on some of the notes that are printed on the tasting sheets. It’s been a fun way to sit down with some cool people and drink through things that we probably wouldn’t otherwise. Often these sessions result in being pleasantly surprised by something that we didn’t think we would like, which is always a fun experience.

This month, starting October 7th, Pub W will be offering flights of three expressions from the Jameson line of Irish whiskeys. While we don’t drink much Irish whiskey, it was a good opportunity to broaden our horizons and get some experience with juice from across the pond. Let’s get into it.

Company: Pernod Ricard

Distillery: New Midleton Distillery

Location: Cork, Ireland

Mashbill: 100% barley (malted and un-malted)

Released: Ongoing.

Pour #1 – Jameson Caskmates

This whiskey is aged in Franciscan Well stout barrels (that were originally whiskey barrels, then stout happened inside of them, and now whiskey again). It’s the same concept as New Holland’s Beer Barrel Bourbon, which is an interesting sip, so let’s see how this one goes.

Age: 4-ish years + 6 months in the stout barrels.

ABV: 40% (80 proof)

Color: Pale Honey

Nose: The aroma is very sweet with honey, vanilla, and roasted marshmallows. Let it sit for a while as there is a bit more ethanol that should be expected for an 80 proof.

Taste: Again on the sweet side with white sugar, honey, and marshmallow. There is some light oak that creeps in and a hint of bitterness that is very dark chocolate-y.

Finish: The light oak and dark chocolate linger the longest along with some sweet powdered sugar vibes.

Pour #2 – Jameson Black Barrel

This is another barrel finished Jameson expression, but this time the whiskey is finished in re-charred Bourbon barrels. Hooray Bourbon! I’m expecting this to pack a more complex punch than the Caskmates given that fresh barrel. One way to find out…

Age: 4-ish years + 6 months in Bourbon barrels

ABV: 40% (80 proof)

Released: Ongoing.

Color: Straw

Nose: The aroma does have more going on than the first pour. There is nice char, vanilla, and orange candy up in there which are welcome notes. There is, however, a pretty young, grainy thing going on too. Hmmm.

Taste: The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected and the char is a bit raw. The overall taste is very similar of a young-ish Bourbon with dry oak, vanilla, citrus things, and honey. There is also some clean grain notes. All-in-all it ends up being fairly complex.

Finish: Earthy things like grass and hay linger along with dry oak and vanilla.

Pour #3 – Jameson Gold

A Blend of whiskeys aged in virgin toasted oak, Bourbon barrels, and Sherry barrels, this pour definitely sounds like it should be the most interesting. I don’t have any idea of what to expect, but this as this is a pricey bottle (around $80), I’m hoping it’s good.

Age: NAS (“advanced years”, probably around 8 years)

ABV: 40% (80 proof)

Released: Ongoing

Color: Honey

Nose: Loads of honey and red fruit (cherry and raspberry especially) hit right out of the gate. There is also a bit of anise, some oak, and brown sugar.

Taste: This is what I’m talkin’ about. There is great complexity mouthfeel with cherry candy, baking spices, vanilla, honey, dark brown sugar, and lemon zest.

Finish: Bright and actually somewhat refreshing with lemon, some earthy grain, and oak.

Overall: Since we are not near as well versed in Irish whiskey as we are with American juice, this flight was a blast to drink through. I had fairly low expectations for all of these, and while I don’t think I would throw down the money to buy a bottle (I would totally buy some Gold, but $80 is just too much), it’s definitely worth trying all three for less than $20. Each one has a completely different profile and the drinking it in the order it did really allows you to start with the lighter, less complex sip then work your way up. If you already know you like Jameson, then hit this one up, get 3 pours for the price of a Gold, and a free Jameson glass!

We hope you go give this one a shot, and if you do, let us know what you think!


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