Thanks to @scotchguy.to for sharing a dram of this with me.
This past year (2018) I had lots and lots of plans. Finish my accounting schooling, find a new job in a new career space, keep track of what I’m doing and don’t get review series mixed up, and review enough Irish Whiskey to finally hit 100 total reviews.
Wait a second… I had this during a tasting! This wasn’t done to hit 100 Irish whiskies at all! What in the blue hell?
So yeah, while trying to finish all of my Irish whiskey samples, I ran into another Irish whiskey at a whisky tasting. I had a chance to purchase a bottle of Jameson Black Barrel Cask Strength. I also had a chance to purchase Jameson Distillery Exclusive.
So I walk up to the bar at the distillery (this is a year ago, you’re in a flashback now), ask for a sample of each. “Oh, we don’t serve Jameson Black Barrel Cask Strength.” Well, that’s too bad, guess I can’t blindly buy it.
I then get back from visiting Ireland and talk to @scotchguy.to. And he asks me if I bought it. Which I didn’t. Then tells me how amaze-balls it is.
So we’re at a tasting, and he hands me this. Yay! Finally!
So this is the standard Jameson Black Barrel, which is Jameson with more first-fill ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks used. Then the Distillery has that, in individual barrels, available at cask strength, for your chance to buy, with your name on it. Oh, and if you’re a fool, you don’t try it first and skip it due to not taking risks this one time.
So now that I’m done kicking myself while I’m down, let’s see what I missed, shall we?
Price: €100 at the distillery
Cask No. 206649
Bottle No. 178
Distillery: Bow St
Bottled By: @ScotchGuyTo
Colour: 5Y 7/8
Nose: Mango, cream soda, honey cereal, banana bread, brandy sauce
Tropical, very sugary, and nice rich cereal notes. Lots of funk comes out with water. Even some nice rich cream/brown sugar notes with some of the alcohol.
Suffice to say, this has very few rough edges and a great variety. Totally a mixture of highbrow and lowbrow. Reminds me of something…. Maybe hookers? Who knows.
Taste: Banana bread, creme caramel, clove extract, gorse, tangerine
Funk, big banana flavours, and this rich, amazing caramel note. Tons of cloves. We made clove extract in chemistry class, and I remember trying some and then hating myself for trying some. This has that level.
Also, there’s this floral/coconut like flavour here. I associate it with that strong note you get from gorse bushes, but if that’s not your thing, think really fresh coconut milk or young coconut.
Finish: Banana bread, lemongrass, juniper, cardamon, yeasty bread, rosemary
More and more banana. The finish is where it opens up the most with water, with that bringing a citrus/herbal side that really opens this all up.
Conclusion: I’ve said it before in reviews, and I’ll say it again: Some of the greatest Irish whiskey never makes it off the island, because damn is it amazing. This really, really is good. I hate my past self for sitting at a bar, forgetting my one rule (Just because you don’t like a few whiskies a place makes, doesn’t mean you’ll hate the rest).
Tropical, funky, banana forward dram. The finish is the only place where I struggled a bit, so I dock some points. And only because it wasn’t super evident. Maybe some marks off for being so much banana bread. But let’s be honest, you’ll have a lot worse out there and this is just a really amazing fill your own bottle that it’s a must buy at the distillery.
World Whiskey review #351, Ireland review #98, Whiskey review #1665