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KCM Spirit Reviews

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review 147: Jameson Blended Whiskey

Review 147
Jameson Blended Whiskey: 40% abv

Background: Jameson is most ubiquitous Irish whiskey in the world, and in fact, could be considered the face of St. Patrick’s Day alongside Guinness in America. To scale this whiskey, we wanted to expand on how big it really is. Jameson Irish Whiskey is produced by Midleton distillery in Cork, Ireland. When we looked at Scotch distilleries, 6 million liters of capacity a year is a huge amount of capacity, but in Ireland, that would be laughable. That is because there are currently four working distilleries in Ireland. Midleton has capacity for 19 million liters a year, and they use it. Jameson’s Blend takes a mix of malted and unmalted barley (or green barley) and triple distils it. This is mixed with grain whiskey and you’ve got a cheap whiskey. That being said, we find it to be extremely fashionable and buy it on a massive scale. So how does this compare to their Scottish counterparts?

Nose: Young, slight burn and alcohol, light citrus and honey, fresh pine wood, herbal parsley notes, grassy, fresh grain, green grape
            A/W: Very green in character
Arrival: Light, sweet, lemon candy, sugar, slight zing
            A/W: No notable change
Body: Sweet, sugar, lemon, alcohol, quinine, vanilla
            A/W: Alcohol presence more notable
Finish: Lemon candy, sweet, sugarcane, slight bitterness, herbs, light honey, light spice, vanilla, subtle saltiness, alcohol and grain, bitterness
A/W: bready, slight yeast

Final Comments: Jameson is certainly well known, but like Jack Daniels, the quality of this whiskey is almost irrelevant to most people. The idea is that if it’s smooth and easy to drink, people will buy it. This is certainly the truth with Jameson, and the flavor is telling. It is certainly smooth, but the quality isn’t there. When we reviewed Kilbeggan, we were impressed by the quality and complexity. This is second tier to that, but yet the price of Jameson Blend continues to rise. This is a plea to reconsider what you spend your money on, and why. Encourage the increase of quality spirits from Ireland. More minor distilleries are cropping up in Ireland, and it is the consumer’s responsibility to emphasize what you want to enjoy.

Why you’d buy it: You’re about tradition.

Why you wouldn’t: For St. Patties day, you’d like to try something better or encourage the growth of smaller distilleries, or send a message to Jameson to tell them you want a more engaging experience.

Score: 7.5/10

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