If you were to ask 100 people to name an Irish whiskey, the majority of them would say Jameson. Everybody knows Jameson. After all, it’s the biggest selling Irish whiskey in the world and available in most bars.
Funny thing about Jameson is it was started by a Scotsman. Yes, John Jameson was born in Scotland. He crossed the Irish Sea to manage his wife’s uncle’s distillery. Jameson’s wife was Margaret Haig (same family who owned Haig Club Scotch whisky). John Jameson’s son, John, eventually took over the distillery. Fast forward a couple of company mergers, Jameson is now owned by Pernod Ricard.
Jameson is distilled at the Midleton distillery in Dublin, which also produces Redbreast, Midleton, Powers and other Irish whiskies. For a while in recent history, there were only three distilleries on Ireland producing all Irish whiskey – Midleton, Cooley and Bushmill’s. New ones have cropped up in the last couple of years, ushering in a renaissance period in Irish whiskey.
The standard expression of Jameson is the one most folks are familiar with. There’s no age statement on the label. What we do know is it’s triple distilled, giving it a light body. It’s also a blend of grain and potstill whiskies. The final product is bottled at the minimum 40% abv.
On the nose is a bit of grain alcohol, along with a slight metallic/copper note. A bit of light honey provides a sweet aroma, while a floral note keeps things a touch fragrant. The entry is soft and surprisingly fruity. I’m talking about slightly acidic berries. Honey from the nose is also present, along with that odd grain alcohol note. The finish is on the sweeter side, and doesn’t linger long.
This is a light bodied whiskey that seems to be made to sip with ice at a party, which is how I enjoy mine. What’s in the bottle is just fine. It’s not phenomenal or particularly memorable, but it serves its purpose. Jameson does make for a great tasting Irish coffee, which is why I bought the bottle in the first place. That reminds me: Louisiana folks, pick up a free copy of the March/April 2016 My Rouses Everyday magazine at Rouses Supermarkets. I have a piece on Irish Coffee in that issue.