By Father John Rayls
Jameson Irish Whiskey is one of the most well known whiskey names even among non-whiskey drinkers. It has the reputation as being the whiskey gateway for those seeking to understand the whiskey experience. It is often the first for whiskey newbies. As a result, it often is not given a serious consideration as a really good whiskey. However, Jameson Irish Whiskey Caskmates Stout Edition may change all of that. It’s still that same smooth whiskey experience, but now add in the other pride of Ireland – a good Irish Stout Beer. I now have to ask…Where has this been my whole life? It seems so obvious that these two should have been combined many years ago in one bottle. People have been enjoying the two separately and in “Boilermakers” for many years. The barrels start at Jameson aging the original Jameson Irish Whiskey. When complete, they are sent to Cork’s Franciscan Well Brewery to finish out some of their barrel aged stout. When that process is complete, the empty stout/whiskey barrels are returned to Jameson to finish out Jameson Irish Whiskey Caskmates Stout Edition. The incredible success of this venture quickly becomes self-evident. Jameson bottles this offering at 80 proof and it’s very good, but I think it would be truly off the charts if they offered it at 95 to 105 proof. However, it is still an interesting, very enjoyable tasting experience.
The bottle has the typical beautiful Jameson look with dark green bottle and stone and black label with copper highlights. The Irish whiskey has a combination of light brown and dark gold coloring with tints of yellow throughout. The highlights are dark gold with polished brass. The legs are everywhere at once being thin and skinny with follow up runners appearing frequently. The nose is somewhat typical with fresh fruit notes and light oak. However, vanilla makes its presence known as well. There is no burn present with it’s somewhat subtle to medium intensity.
The palette is not complex but is somewhat surprising. It’s very straight forward with vanilla cream, chocolate and light coffee with some faint hops in the background. The mouthfeel is a very pleasant creamy experience. Most of the action takes place at mid-mouth and forward. The experience never strays from its very smooth reputation. The finish gradually takes over as it migrates forward out to the lips. Its duration is a medium to long one filled with vanilla, milk chocolate and butterscotch. In addition, some spiciness begins as light all-spice/cinnamon but quickly transitions to pepper as the sides of the tongue are activated eventually including the lips. It never drinks hot but presents a steadily warming experience. There is no need to add water or ice. If you like it cold, I would suggest putting the whole bottle in the freezer or refrigerator and drinking it neat.
I really enjoyed this Irish whiskey. Jameson Irish Whiskey Caskmates Stout Edition should not be simply relegated to a desert or after dinner drink. It is a worthy whiskey deserving a full time presence on my whiskey shelf. You can find it for somewhere between $27.95 and $39.95. Make no mistake…that’s a steal!