Well, I didn’t enjoy the last jumped up Jameson I tried, the Black Barrel. And I didn’t enjoy the last whiskey I drank from the Midleton distillery either (yesterday’s Green Spot). Will Gold be better than Black and Green? Will I ever meet an Irish whiskey that gets me very excited? Let’s dive right in and see.
Jameson Gold Reserve (40%; from a sample received in a swap)
As per Michael K., from whom I got this sample, this is a vatting of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and virgin oak matured spirit.
Nose: Some vanilla, some orange peel, some milk chocolate. Some malty notes too after a bit and some lime. Not bad at all. The lime expands with time and there’s a mild pepperiness too. With more time there’s some caramel and toffee–the sherry component comes through loud and clear. Gets a little dusty with water but there’s no other major change.
Palate: Citrus–between lime and orange–and mild oaky spice. A little bit of caramel too. The texture is not as watery as I’d feared it might be. Do I dare add some water? Hmm a drop of water seems to bring out some sweetness.
Finish: Medium. Not very interesting here and a metallic bitterness develops as it begins to fade. On subsequent sips that metallic note emerges earlier and earlier. Water corrals that metallic note a little.
Comments: This is indeed better than the Green Spot and the Black Barrel (I typed this sentence after one sniff) but I prefer the 18 yo. There’s not a whole lot happening here but it’s not unpleasant and indeed, it’s rather drinkable–though it’s the nose I like best; and it’s better with a touch of water, I think (despite the 40% abv). In the neighbourhood of $25 this would not be bad at all. But I suspect it lives in a much more expensive neighbourhood. And how! Winesearcher tells me that I should expect to pay at least $50 for this. Winesearcher is on crack. Okay, is there any such thing as a very good Jameson?
Rating: 80 points.
Thanks to Michael K. for the sample!