Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition Irish Whiskey Review
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition Irish Whiskey is produced at the new Midleton Distillery located in Midleton, County Cork Ireland. The new Midleton distillery is the largest distillery in Ireland housing 3 pot stills and 3 column stills which allow for a wide range of Irish Whiskeys to be produced. In fact, the majority of Irish Whiskey is produced at this facility including Jameson, John Powers, Paddy, Red Breast, Midleton and Greenspot. These brands are consolidated under the Irish Distillers Group which is a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. The Irish Distillers Group was formed in 1966 when John Jameson & Son merged with John Power & Son and Cork Distillers. Bushmills was even part of IGF from 1972 to 2005 before being sold to Diageo.
Jameson Caskmates is quite an interesting product when you look at the rest of the Jameson brand lineup. Essentially Jameson lent some barrels that once held Jameson Original to the Franciscan Well Brewery to age a special Irish Stout. Once the Stout was finished aging the oak barrels were sent back to the new Middleton Distillery to age Jameson Original. Head on over to The Whiskey Wash for a great article on the genesis of this unique Whiskey. I actually prefer these types of stories over ludicrous tales of mishaps and family recipes. This was simply a collaboration between two friends in similar industries. On to the tasting notes!
Cost: Sample courtesy of will_i_am_chard. Typical prices for a 750ml bottle range from $34 to $40.
Distillery: New Midleton Distillery in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland
Age: NAS but according to the website Jameson Original is "aged for a minimum of 4 years. No details on how much time the Irish Stout spent in the barrel or how long Jameson Original was aged post Stout.
Mashbill: Malted and un-malted Irish barley.
Distillation: Triple Distilled - blended column still grain whiskey and single pot still whiskey.
Pour: 2 oz neat in a Scottish Glencairn
Nose: Vanilla extract (the real stuff), hay, grain, furniture polish, something bitter but not astringent which is reminiscent of bittering hops. Furniture polish dies down after some air time. Unmistakable Jameson aroma at the heart of this dram.
Palate: Medium viscosity. Milk chocolate, Nilla Wafers, cheerios, caramel chews. Flash backs of dense, homemade Rice Crispy treats growing up.
Finish: Short to medium. Warm vanilla almond milk, grain, honey, and white pepper.
What Jameson has done here is quite interesting and takes the standard Jameson Original offering to the next level. The milk chocolate and cookie notes work perfectly together while doing a great job of integrating with the base whiskey flavor profile. A warm sweetness also emerges that is reminiscent of dipping baked sweets in giant glasses of milk while growing up. I would love to do a side by side of this with the Franciscan Well Irish Stout just to see what similar flavors exist between the two.
I have been a fan of the Jameson/Guinness combo for years and have an almost comfort food relationship with the duo. There is no better combo after a long day of air travel especially when bellied up to the bar. That being said, I won't drink blended Irish Whiskeys on their own because frankly I find them boring. But put them together with a dark beer full of malty, roasty grain and the sum is far greater than the parts. Not only would I drink Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition on its own I think this is the perfect Irish Whiskey to pair with a Guinness Draught. Cheers.
Recommended: Connemara Peated Single Malt, Redbreast 12 Year, Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt
- Mark Millonzi @ Entry Proof