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Jameson, Green Spot + Redbreast

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Part of a series of tasting notes from a monthly private whisky club in Mumbai, India. This session was a special event focused on Irish whiskey.

Tasting Notes from 21 Nov 2013

We departed from our usual format in honour of a couple Irish lads from Jameson. Our evening included Irish whiskey history, making, trivia and tales – including a sniff of malted vs unmalted barley, new make spirit from pot vs column still.

The Jameson lads with their set-up for the eve

The Jameson lads with their set-up for the eve

The whisk(e)y  sampling began with a blind tasting of American, Irish and Scottish:

  • American – Unmistakable bourbon stamp – sugary sweet with banana on the nose, taste of dried fruit with the ripe banana even more pronounced, and finish? Practically none! Add water? Same but diluted…
  • Irish – Nose sweeter with caramel, apricot and a hint of pine nut. The taste was honey sweet, sherry smooth with cherries and a touch of leather. As for the finish? Again, nothing much really. And water? Just too light…
  • Scottish – A contrast with a dusty muddy nose with a bit of peat sneaking in. A bit harsh on the palate. Finish slightly smoky, chewy but then dashed off after a brief appearance. Add water? Brought a flash of spice but washed out the hint of peaty smoke.

Before the revealing, we had a chance to guess? Did we get them? Pretty much!

  • American was Jack Daniels
  • Irish was the entry-level Jameson
  • Scottish was Black Label known in these parts ie India as ‘good’ whisky (naturally not our merry gang!)

Quick studies that we are, appreciated the ‘point’ which is that Jameson is the cheapest of the trio with value for money for a decent drinkable dram. With the pre-amble over, the real event began, and we dropped any pretence of blind tasting this session to dive into sipping, swilling and savouring no less than 6 Irish whiskies!

Jameson intro

Jameson intro

Jameson Original 40%

  • Jameson

    Jameson

    It was suggested by the Jameson lads that in addition to what we noted in the blind tasting, we should find a bit of nutty vanilla too. Also shared it is typically 5 – 7 years though no age is provided.

  • Our verdict? Certainly light and sweet, the kind of whiskey you aren’t adverse to mixing or for some, just knocking back.

Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve (Formerly known as Jameson 1780) 40%

  • Nose – Sherry dried fruit, raisins, like an apple pie or crumble
  • Taste – Cherry with the sherry even more pronounced than the Jameson Original, a bit of pine nut.
  • Finish – One single note – nothing more. Certainly not the vaunted “warm long finish” however at least it didn’t disappear almost instantly like its “Original” cousin.
  • Our verdict? Again, value for money, pleasant, decidedly on the sweet side.

Jameson Gold Reserve (uses virgin American oak) 40%

  • Nose – Sweet bourbon style, light
  • Taste – Hint of pepper
  • Finish – Not quite a bourbon finish
  • Our verdict? It is a bit confused… not quite a bourbon yet trying to be… honestly? If you really are in the mood for a bourbon, just get a bourbon! However if you don’t mind a bourbon twist in your Irish whiskey, enjoy!
Jameson 18 yr

Jameson 18 yr

Jameson 18 Year Special Reserve 40%

  • Nose – Sweet, creamy, full-bodied
  • Taste – Leathery, overripe peach, scent of rubber, hint of coffee
  • Finish – Warm.. remains and stays… with a slightly woody, bitter kerela finish
  • Our verdict? Certainly the most interesting of the Jameson’s sampled and one heck of a good whiskey. While most enjoyable however has some tough competition in this pricier bracket.
Green Spot

Green Spot

Green Spot 40%

  • Nose – Creamy caramel, tarka, fresh green apples – tart and sweet combine
  • Taste – Black peppercorn and rose sherbet, bringing together both sweet and spice
  • Finish – Chewy, warm with a little spice, yet not as complex as Yellow Spot
  • Add water? With water becomes lighter with a delightful toasted nut finish – delightful.
  • Our verdict? While Yellow Spot remains one of our favourites, Green Spot more than holds its own. It is also value for money and an excellent example of what a single pot still can produced.
Redbreast

Redbreast

Redbreast 12 year cask strength 57.7%

  • Nose – Burnt rubber, bold, fruit cake chock full of raisins, dates, nuts, apples
  • Taste – Follows through with its promise, adding cinnamon to the dried fruit and a roasted woodiness
  • Finish – Stays keeping you cosy warm, like Christmas time, curled up by the fireside sipping spiced mulled whiskey,
  • Add water? Even sweeter with spicy delight
  • Our verdict? Ooooohhhhh the Redbreast definitely caught our attention and appreciation! This is certainly one worth revisiting.

Favourite dram sampled? Redbreast

Value for money and flavour? Green Spot

Hit of the evening? Our guests from Jameson who brought an interesting departure from our usual approach.

And the biggest surprise? That any of us were still standing by the end of the evening – let alone able to enjoy the fabulous Parsi bhonu that followed our sampling!

For more posts on our tasting sessions and whisky explorations… check out my other blog Whisky Lady.

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12 Comments

  1. I’m just wondering… you must be getting loads of search hits for those whisky posts…?

  2. Ashdin says:

    Hi, excellent article, I am a fan of Jameson as well. Had bought one of the reserve whiskeys when I was in Dublin.

    How can I join the whisky club?

    Ashdin

    • Hi Ashdin,

      Am sure you enjoyed the Jameson reserves… I’m increasingly becoming more and more a fan of copper pot whiskies!

      As for our whisky club, we are happy to share the results of our tastings however keep our group quite private and small as we have our sessions in each other’s homes with contributions carefully acquired during our respective travels. We long since exhausted the duty free offerings in India and neighbouring countries too!

  3. Brad Pragnell says:

    Carissa …..and when you get the opportunity I would love your take on Sullivan’s Cove!

    Brad

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-21/sullivans-coves-world-wisky-win-for-single-malt/5336498

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