After having been in existence for around 250 years, Jameson has finally released a cask strength expression, and damn, it was worth the wait.
Jameson is the biggest Irish Whiskey brand in existence, having been established in 1780 by John Jameson. Their first distillery was at Bow Street in Dublin, which they maintain as a visitors centre with most of their distillation occurring at their Midleton Distillery in Co. Cork.
The brand has recently seen a massive increase in sales. This is a reflection of the Irish Whiskey market in general, which is experiencing a huge mount of investment, with sales increasing every year for almost a decade now. Jameson itself has recently seen case sales increase to over four million year, with value growing by 12% in the last six months up to December.
Jean-Christophe Coutures, previous CEO and Chairperson of Irish Distillers, attributes part of this to increased revenue from Whiskey tourism, “The reopening of Jameson Distillery Bow St – the original home of Jameson – last March undoubtedly played a role in this growth”.
Jameson are always developing their brand, and while a lot of that is rooted in their past, they also innovate and move forward. In fast, their most recent release is the first of its kind for Jameson, having never sold a cask strength Whiskey before.
Tasting notes for Jameson Bow Street 18 Year Old Cask Strength
Bottle cost: £170
Released earlier this year, this dram is a celebration of the brand’s 18 Year Old as well as a nod to their history. It combines the two ideas, bringing together 18 year old Whiskey with maturation in Bow Street.
This expression has been matured in Sherry and Bourbon casks, in their “live” maturation house at Bow Street, where visitors can take a look at the casks as they explore the brand’s spiritual home. It has been bottled at 55.3%.
The nose opens with lots of sweet toffee and caramel notes. It is thick and luxurious, with a slightly spicy note to it. Oak wood and vanilla really take over. The wood is especially present and lends an elegance to the overall dram. it has a slightly earthy quality to it.
The palate is rich and deep, with more oak and some honeyed tones appearing. These give it a smooth and thick mouth feel. It is a chewy dram with lots of character. There is an almond quality that goes well with the oak wood.
Vanilla takes over and has a warming sensation. The sweetness is a little bit reminiscent of burnt white sugar, with a vanilla subtlety.
The oak further brings in a warming note and cinnamon and cloves can be tasted as well. These are delicate and have a Sherried hint to them.
The finish is long and rich, ending on a note of oak and cinnamon spice.
This is an excellent dram from Jameson that captures the spirit of their 18 Year Old as well as their commitment to quality over the years. It is easy to see why the brand are doing so well with expressions like this on their books.
What do you think of the Jameson Bow Street 18 Year Old? Let us know in the comments!