Out of all of the whiskeys tasted so far, Jameson is the first to be “different” from the Bushmills and the Redbreast. By different, I mean that it’s the first that has been missing a bit of sweetness that I could easily taste in the other three brands. As more and more whiskeys are tasted, I’m sure that this will be less novel, but as it is the first time that I’ve recognized this in a brand, I do find it notable…at least in regard to my own palate.
Jameson is one of the big two Whiskeys that a fair amount of Americans could probably name (the other being the aforementioned Bushmills). They’ve been around for a fair bit of time, with their founder, John Jameson, immigrating from Scotland to Ireland in 1780, and taking over an existing distillery in Dublin. In my opinion, I believe that Jameson has a far better claim to tradition than Bushmills, and are part of the holy trinity of historical whiskey families in Ireland (the other two families being the Lockes and the Powers, but we’ll get to them at a later date).
Jameson (the brand, not the family) was also a large part of Dublin’s Indentity, much in the same way that Guinness is today. But they eventually moved their distillery to Cork. A bottle of Jameson will run between $20 – $30, with most places selling it around 23-25 dollars (depending upon where you live and the tax laws that are applied).
Another thing to note – Jameson used to be a pot still whiskey, but the blossoming American market found the drink too heavy and oily, especially when compared against the Bourbons and Canadian whiskys that were popular at the time. Jameson decided to convert their brand to a blend, and as a result, were able to make larger inroads into the American marketplace. The blend is roughly 50 percent medium bodied pot still whiskey, and then 50 percent grain whiskey.
Nose: I found the nose to be a bit citrusy in nature. A small hint of lemon to be more precise.
Taste: It was difficult for me to pin down the taste. It’s mouthfeel was oily. When it first hit the palate, there was a quick spicy/peppery taste, but that dissipated fairly quickly. Remaining was a bready grain taste, probably that of the barley. The finish was quick and a little disapointing to be honest, when compared to the length of the finish of the Black Bush and Redbreast.
Overall: This is not a complex whiskey by any stretch of the imagination. It’s flavor hits the toungue quickly and leaves equally fast. There’s little subtlety to this at all.
But simple does not equal bad. Although I feel Jameson is not my preference, it is still a good whiskey, well made and inoffensive. My guess is that there are far worse whiskeys out there that sell for $25.
My overall rating guide:
Bushmills Black Bush