DSR – IE – 001: Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition
Company/Distillery: Midleton Distillery
Location: Midleton, Co., Cork, Ireland
Mash Bill: Malted barley, un-malted barley, maize
Age Statement: At least 3 years old
Proof/ABV: 80 Proof/ 40% ABV
Color: Light golden honey
Purchase Price: $27.95 from NC ABC store; 750 ml
Bottle Label Information:
“John Jameson & Son”
“John Jameson & Son Limited – JJ&S”
“Estd 1780 – Sine Metu”
“Whiskey Finished in Craft Barrels”
“Product of Ireland”
Lower Front Label
“With notes of rich coffee, smooth chocolate, butterscotch”
“John Jameson & Son”
“Finished in 8D Brewing Stout Beer Barrels”
“Caskmates Series is the result of a collaboration with our neighbours at Eight D Brewing. They borrow our casks to age their fine Irish stout and we then finish our signature whiskey in these stout seasoned oak barrels. The result? The classic smoothness of Jameson with notes of coffee, chocolate and butterscotch. “
“Imported by John Jameson Import Company, New York, NY”
“Product of Midleton Distillery, Midleton, Co., Cork, Ireland”
“Visit Responsiblity.org and Jamesonwhiskey.com”
The Midleton Distillery, as it is known today, was established in 1975. The distillery was the result of a 1966 merger between John Jameson & Son, The Cork Distillery Company and John Power & Son Distillery. This group of distillers would later become known as the Irish Distillers Group. In an effort to create a strategic advantage, the three distilleries agreed to close all of their current distilleries and move into the New Midleton Distillery, which was next door to the home of Jameson & Son’s Old Midleton Distillery. In 1988, the Irish Distiller Group would be taken over by French spirits conglomerate Pernod Ricard (Source).
Currently, Midleton Distillery produces Jameson, Tullamore Dew, Powers, Paddy, Redbreast, Midleton Very Rare, Green Spot, and Yellow Spot.
Jameson & Son
John Jameson was born in 1740 in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. Jameson originally was a lawyer with absolutely no experience in the whiskey industry. It was the family of Jameson’s wife that was deeply ingrained in the distilling community. Margaret Haig’s immediate family owned and operated the Haig Distilleries in Scotland. In addition, Margaret’s cousin owned and operated the Stein’s Distillery Company located in Scotland and Ireland.
In 1786, Jameson would be invited to move to Dublin, Ireland and manage the operation of Stein’s Distillery, as a favor to the Haig family. He would later go on to manage the distillery for 19 years before taking ownership of the operation in 1805. John Jameson and his son, John Jameson II, would lead the successful business into a new era in 1810 by renaming it the John Jameson and Son Distillery.
Jameson, the lawyer with zero distilling experience, would quickly become known for his hard work and innovation within the whiskey industry. As a leader in the industry, Jameson would select only raw ingredients and the finest hand-made barrels for his whiskey. In addition to his personal conviction of using only the finest materials to make his whiskey, he also decided to go against normal acceptable distilling practices at the time and triple distill his whiskey. This triple distillation would create a smoothness to Jameson Whiskey that competitors were unable to match (Source: The Irish Whiskey Museum).
Today the distillery still operates with many of the tenants set forth by Mr. Jameson over 200 years ago. Jameson & Son have continued to triple distill their whiskey using malted and unmalted barley from local farmers in Ireland. The water comes directly from the Dungourney river that flows through the middle of the distillery property. Jameson ages its whiskey in used bourbon barrels purchased from the United States and wine barrels from Spain (Source: Jameson Whiskey).
How is Irish Whiskey Different than Bourbon?
It is often asked how Irish whiskey differs from bourbon? Outside of the obvious, which is that it is not made in the United States, Irish whiskey has several differences. To be deemed Irish whiskey, the distillation and aging of the whiskey must occur in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Irish whiskey must be distilled using a yeast-fermented mash of cereal grains and can be no higher than 94.8% alcohol by volume. Irish whiskey must be aged for a minimum of three years in wooden casks no larger than 700 liters (185 US gallons). Labeling must clearly state that the whiskey is blended, if done so for bottling (Source: Angels Envy).
Tasting Date/Vessel: June 28, 2020 – Neat in Glencairn Glass
Christian: A nosing of this whiskey in the bottle has a pronounced aroma of stout beer. Once in the Glencairn glass, the whiskey really becomes sweet, aromatic, and buttery. Heavy caramel syrup and clove honey are present. A deeper inhale brings on chocolate syrup and light vanilla extract. Water tones down the notes of chocolate and bring forward more caramel syrup and butterscotch.
Mike: Very sweet with bursts of fresh sliced pears on first pass. On the second pass I pick up light notes of warm beer. Nosing in deeper, you definitely detect hints of dark chocolate shavings and caramel sauce.
Christian: Mouth feel is very elegant. Sweet on front and mid-palate. Hershey’s chocolate cocoa powder and slightly leathery scotch tones are present on taste buds. As the whiskey slides back in my mouth, I detected an ever so soft hint of maple syrup. Adding water really ramped up the scotch and leather profile on this one. Chocolate flavor all but disappears completely.
Mike: This pour is very light and crisp in the mouth. This has a very delicate and refreshing taste with a wine like quality for me. Bitter chocolate and butterscotch linger on the palate with just a nip of coffee essence.
Christian: The finish is so smooth and short, just as advertised. The whiskey did have some bitter notes on the back-end of the pour. This pour reminded me of a more unsweetened cocoa and black coffee, almost like a mocha. Honestly this was my least favorite part of the pour. Water helps remove some of the bitterness. Coffee remains prevalent but in a dark roast kind of way. Very light but noticeable vanilla flavor returns.
Mike: Very smooth finish that is medium to short. There is no burn, just a soothing warmness as it passes down the throat with a residual light roast coffee undertone left in the mouth.
Christian: I love stout beers, they are my go to in all seasons that are not summer. As such, I was really excited to try this one when I first saw it on the shelf. Jameson Stout Edition would also be my first introduction into Irish Whiskey. Damn, did I like it! Reminds me of a decadent dessert in a glass. Caramel syrup, honey, chocolate syrup, and coffee. Great flavor combinations that brought happy memories of ice cream sundaes minus the ice cream. Personally, I felt like adding water to this pour took away from its profile and would much rather enjoy it neat. It is so smooth and approachable without a cube or added water. Bottom line: I would buy this again and again for my home bar. Excellent neat pour and fun to share and experience with good friends.
Rating: 3.5 Rickhouses
Mike: This is an easy drinking whiskey. A very simple pour that is not overly complex, which is welcoming. At 80 proof, it is an effortless and refreshing sip. No flavors are overtly pronounced but it is not flavorless. If you visualize drinking bourbon neat as a beverage to warm you up on a cold winter night, this pour is a snap of late spring sunrise brightening your morning.
Rating: 2.5 Rickhouses
Conclusion: Going into this review, neither of us had much experience with Irish whiskey. Coming out of this review, Jameson Irish Whiskey Stout Edition is as advertised: smooth; approachable; flavorful; cost efficient. This whiskey offering is a brilliant sipping whiskey, enjoy it neat or on the rocks, you won’t be disappointed either way. At the price point of $27, you can afford to always have this in your own home bar. After this experience, we are excited to try some other offerings from The Emerald Isle.