Whisk(e)y and beer – separate beverages yet found as companions and occasionally as hybrid experiments.
In this case, the story goes…
Like all the best conversations, the one between Jameson’s Head of Whiskey Science and the Head Brewer of a local craft beer brewery, started at the bar. A swapping of whiskey and beer barrels soon after, resulted in Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition – triple-distilled, blended Irish Whiskey that has been patiently finished in Irish craft beer-seasoned barrels.
And what did we find?
Jameson Caskmate Stout Edition 40%
- Colour – Dark gold
- Nose – Chocolate, butterscotch and flowers, very yheasty, dry cereals and a bit dusty, coconut, one even found Kahlua coffee liqueur, some hazelnut, cream
- Palate – Very sweet, caramel, bitter orange and hay – some found it had a ‘hops’ influence, others didn’t discover any discernible stout element beyond the chocolate
- Finish – Limited yet pleasant
Jameson’s brand ambassador Ciaran Hanlon shared that as Jameson is a mix of malted and approximately 10% unmalted barley, with the unmalted barley adding a creaminess and pepper spice. The thing was, though we could find the cream we didn’t find much spice – at least in this whiskey.
He went on to share that unlike some blended whiskies, Jameson is a single distiller blend and attributed the triple distill approach to producing a smoother style.
While there is no age statement, Ciaran noted typically Jameson has whiskies from 4-7 years, matured in ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and for this special expression, ex-stout barrels.
In this case, the whiskey barrels first go to the craft brewery Fransisco Well to give a little extra whisky “ooomph!” to the stout beer, then the same casks come back to Jameson to work their wonders for six months on the whisky.
There was a bit of a divide on this one – some enjoyed the chocolaty goodness, others prefer their Jameson “straight” without a twist.
Talk turned to many ladies sharing Jameson was their “gateway” dram into wider whisky explorations. It also is one most found can depend on in a bar to be at a reasonable price point for a reliably good sociable dram. And what’s not to like about that?
And the official tasting notes?
- Nose – An initial aroma of freshly cut hay is complemented by a crisp orchard fruit character – green apples and pears, with a twist of lime zest. Mild pot still spices appear, deepening from green tea to hazelnut and milk chocolate.
- Taste – The initial sweet mouth coating typical of the Irish pot still inclusion is quickly complemented by the subtle touch of hops and cocoa beans from the beer cask finish.
- Finish – Long and sweet with milk chocolate and butterscotch.
After the Jameson Caskmate Stout Edition, we switched gears to pure Irish pot still drams:
Our Irish experience was courtesy of Pernod Ricard, tasted from a bottle opened in Aug 2018. For those curious to explore, Jameson Caskmate Stout Edition is available in India.
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