Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch


It was a busy weekend.

Well, kinda busy. Okay, I took a long weekend and went back to my University city to relive a weekend of debauchery and fun. Windsor’s good for that.

And I decided to drink heavily (see picture), much like what /u/texacer told me to do.

What’s that? Oh, he told me not to review and to enjoy drinking whiskey. Well… I did half of it right. Or most of it. Some of it? Don’t blame me, I was de-runk.

And yes, I did review Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch in a pint glass. All because I’m a classy bitch that way.

So, what makes this different than the stuff you shoot back at the bar with your bro-hams? Cause those ladies can drink!

Well, first it has a higher proportion of Irish pot still whiskey than normal, mixed with some small batch grain. Good start.

Then it’s aged in a lot of first fill bourbon and sherry casks. That’s also a good sign.

However, what does “a lot” mean? And for how long? Questions that will be lost for time, cause as I said, I was drunk. Well, not at the time, however that’s a good excuse based on the story I’m telling in this review.

Price: $50 (CAD)

Region: Irish

Abv: 40%

Colour: Gold/Brown

Nose: Caramel, mango, banana, vanilla, orange rind, caraway

Nice fruity notes, more tropical and rummy than I was expecting. Also a nice amount of sweetness (for me).

May be a little overtly sweet for some. Also the low Abv is not doing this pint glass any favours, this isn’t easy to pick apart.

Taste: Caramel, pepper, salt, malt, ginger, vanilla, Perrier

First Irish I’ve had in awhile that didn’t immediately taste like liking raw bread dough. That’s different.

Somewhat muted flavour, nothing coming out to say hello, how are you my ragtime gal. More mineral notes, which is needed to balance the sweetness.

Finish: Burnt caramel, cracklins, burnt orange, pop rocks

Oh god it burns. And not burning my tongue, more of a burnt flavour.

Ha. That was a joke.

Anyway, it leaves pretty quick. No sign of all that quality they put in.

Conclusion: I’m pretty torn on this one, so I’ll split my rambling finish into two parts:

On the plus side, the nose is complex, the taste is refreshing, and there aren’t overtly horrible parts to the finish. This is a good dram to do what /u/texacer said and just sit back and enjoy. Which I did. In my pint glass (not in pints, I’m old now). Finally, it’s nice to taste an Irish that doesn’t just have yeast, yeast, and more yeast in it.

The negatives: It’s hard to say, however I feel that given the quality that was put into this is ruined. Let’s start with the name. Yes, I’m being petty, but look at it: Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch. If you asked someone on the whisky network to make up more buzz words in a name that would make you pause, this is it. It’s a problem.

However that’s small fish to fry. The fact that they went through the trouble of making a dram that uses first fill Bourbon and Sherry casks, leveled it up with the name, and released it with a batch # and all this fancy stuff, while making it 40% is basically a waste, in my opinion.

There are elements in here of quality that are washed away with Irish spring water, and that’s the unfortunate part. Joking aside, this is nice to have as a sit back and sip, however for the price, I’d buy something more local and enjoy it as much, or more.

76/100, with a note that this should be higher, and Jameson should re-evaluate their practices.

World Whiskey review #61, Ireland review #9, Whisky Network #285

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #151

3 thoughts on “Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch

  1. Soo, I hope you still get to read this since this post seems to be quite old. I’m not a big whisky guy (yet) but had the chance to taste the Jameson select reserve small batch at a friends house about a week ago.. I actually liked it a lot as it was smooth and the sweetness was something different from the whiskys I have tried before. So I was wondering if there are more brands / whiskys out there that I could compare to this one as it fit my taste. any advice to what I have to look for? Cheers


    1. Hi Rob, thanks for the comment, I appreciate it. So this was about 6 years ago, and there’s a chance that Jamieson Select Reserve Small Batch has changed in that time. But assuming that it hasn’t changed, there is always the chance that I have different tastes to you.

      Re-reading my old review, this bottle could have been open for quite awhile versus the one you had, or vice versa. Oxidization and lower abv. can do wonders for a whiskey.

      Also you may have enjoyed aspects that I didn’t. One thing that happens as you drink more cask strength whiskies is 40% becomes weaker in flavour and not as complex. So while a smooth, nice whiskey that goes down easier than other whiskies may be nice, as time goes on it becomes (for bitter reviewers like myself [please note I say bitter there tongue in cheek]) less interesting.

      If you’re looking for something to compare this to, that I feel is better, I’d recommend Bushmills 10 year. The age statement Bushmills end up being complex while still being smooth and sweet. And don’t worry about not being a big whisky guy/gal in this space. End of the day we should all enjoy what we enjoy. Whisky nerds like myself can make it seem like simpler whiskies aren’t as great, but if you enjoy it, does it matter? Not really.

      Thanks again for reading, and have a great day.


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