Thanks to /u/Tsefly for the sample.
Beer, for me, is usually better when someone has put it through a still a few times and then thrown it in a cask for at least 6 years. Depending on the country.
That said, over the years being a whiskey drinker has lead me to find out that bars carry a selection I’m not a fan of at a price that breaks my mother’s Scottish heart.
So throughout the years that I’ve been drinking, I’ve slowly been trying other things that aren’t spirits. Beer comes up, as I’m in Canada, and usually I pass. However in the past year or so I’ve found that some porters and stouts don’t suck.
And I’ve been happy about that.
At the same time, many distillers have found that buying barrels outside of Spain (for sherry) and America (for virgin oak or ex-bourbon) is a viable way to add interesting flavours to their whiskey.
Included in this is Jameson, with their Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition. This is the standard Jameson that we’ve all had, however finished in stout-seasoned whiskey casks.
Who’s stout? Run’s stout!… Oh wait, no not this time. Actually it was from Franciscan Well Brewery, who had traded for the ex-Irish whiskey barrels, and then sent them back.
As many know, I’m a huge fan of trying new things. And as you know, I like being kicked in the bum while being called Charlie…. I mean Stout. I like Stout.
So let’s see how those things put together turn out…. Other than the bum thing.
Price: $39.95 CAD at the LCBO
Colour: 2.5Y 8/12
Nose: Citrus, floral hops, butter, metallic, cereal
Lots of citrus on this. It’s not the malty, stout nose that I was expecting. More hops, more floral aspects, more citrus.
Has the Irish profile still on the nose, however I’m missing the yeast aspect of Irish whiskey I typically enjoy.
Taste: Ginger, pepper, beer, caramel, grapefruit
Simple taste. It doesn’t particularly taste like stout. There’s some nice, stronger than normal caramel notes, but that’s mostly taken out by heat.
And not taken out by Heat. That’s a different movie.
Finish: Yeast, ginger, 7-Up, wheat, cheap orange drink, malt
Finishes with the yeast I was looking for.
I’m starting to think that the elements that make Jameson (and some would argue, most Irish whiskies) good don’t pair well with Stout. Cork made or not.
Finishes with a cheaper citrus flavour. And too much of it.
Conclusion: I enjoy that this exists. I don’t enjoy it more than the standard offering.
For what this is, it’s easy to drink. It has some off notes, it doesn’t scratch a proper Irish whiskey itch (for me), and all in all it’s not a kick in the bum, but it’s close.
I want Jameson to keep doing these cool experiments. Maybe they’ll meet up with some wine makers soon, or maybe some fish merchants, or someone else that has a cool use. Or maybe a different beer. Or maybe a higher Abv, longer in the cask, etc, etc.
Heck, even don’t use the blend and use just the single malt. Who knows, it needs some work, and I just drink the stuff.
World Whiskey review #204, Ireland review #33, Whiskey Network reviews #953