Jameson Irish Whiskey Review

Jameson Irish Whiskey010

40% abv

Score:  76/100


Jameson.  The world’s bestselling Irish whiskey.  By far.  But much as I suspect that many of the folks pushing Glenfiddich to the top of the charts are more the ‘scotch and soda’ crowd than the connoisseurs and collectors, I have a feeling that many of the good people downing Jameson are probably not sitting around sipping this stuff from nosing glasses.  It’s just not a dram of that caliber.  This is more a shotglass kinda drink, I think.  Or maybe best used in Irish Coffee and the like. 

Jameson is a blended Irish whiskey, built from a bit of pot still distillate and – based on the profile – what I assume is a lot of grain spirit.  Apparently there are sherry casks used in maturing some of the spirit that goes into this blend, but I’m hard-pressed to pick up on much of that influence in the final product.  It seems to be more of a concentrated bourbon profile driving this one on than sherry making much of an impression.  Sadly too, I gotta say that the pot still component of this whiskey is simply crushed beneath the heft of the grains and the relatively youthful bite. 

With a bit of time in good barrels this all could all come together nicely, but I honestly don’t believe this whiskey is given even close to enough time in wood to allow its more rambunctious nature to settle down into a well-behaved middle age. 

So…let’s see if we have this straight…1) the component of the whiskey with the most personality is grossly under-represented, to the point of being almost invisible and 2) the overall product tastes young and unripe.  Mmmmmmm.  Recipe for success!

I must admit that I’m a Bushmills guy, first and foremost.  That’s the juice I cut my teeth on.  And even better than the Bush (easy now) is Redbreast.  But hey…there’s enough love in my heart to go ’round.  Or so I thought.

At the end of the day, this isn’t a bad whiskey.  It simply needs to be noted that you get what you pay for.  When you’re picking up a $25 bottle of whiskey, you’re getting a $25 bottle of whiskey.  If you’re looking for a somewhat smoother ride, you gotta go for something a little longer in the teeth and less reliant on neutral spirit to constitute so much of its make-up. 

My advice?  Pour it in a shot glass, toss it back, slam it down, order another.  Rinse, repeat.

Nose:  Not dissimilar to some of the better Canadian whiskies, character-wise.  But with more fruit.  Big oak notes.  Bourbon spices.  Lemon rind.  Custard.  Toasted marshmallow.  Not a lot more.  Smells young, but not feinty.  Still carries an alcohol-nip that would fade with a little more time.

Palate:  Ouch.  Vodka.  The neutral spirit that props this one up must constitute 80% of the mashbill.  This is spirity to be sure.  Green apple.  Oak.  Cinnamon.  A little Cream Of Wheat porridge with brown sugar.  Citrus.  Vanilla extract.  A lot of wood on the finish.

Thoughts:  To be fair…this is a very clean drink, and would mature well.  Older Jameson can be stunning.  Not my thing, but decent, for what it’s worth.  At the end of the day though, I’ll stick with the 1608 distillery.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

16 thoughts on “Jameson Irish Whiskey Review

  1. Maltmonster

    We Irish don’t forget or forgive, or is it keep your enemies close and make your friends buy the next round, whatever, at least you rated it six points higher than that boil before you drink Johnnie Weaker Red.

          1. Maltmonster

            Let me explain a little history to you as I’m sure you get a lot of varying opinions riding on the C-train twice a day. The Irish were producing the best whiskey in the world in the 19th century up until Scotland starting producing cheap grain whisky, combined with prohibition in the United States followed by Britain cutting off export to all Commonwealth countries.

  2. ATW Post author

    I plugged your last comment into google translator and it came out with: “I love Colin Farrell”. Weird.

    1. Maltmonster

      That’s low coming from a Bay City Roller fan, Colin Farrell ( except for Miami Vice ) is a Irish cult hero, what do you have, Henry Ian Cusick, hell he couldn’t even remember to push the button in the television series Lost.

      1. ATW Post author

        If I read that right, it says something like “I’m Lost without Colin Farrell…and I still want to thank the Scots for correcting the mistakes we Irish were making in whisky production”

  3. Maltmonster

    ATW, responding to a question on sample sharing this morning ………………. “I lied. Forgot about this one. Any chance you’d be willing to share a sample of 57 North?”

    Maltmonster………..would be happy to, but the question remains, now that you’re a known & documented liar, how can we move forward with trusting anything you say about the Irish…………………… contemplate this on the tree of woe

  4. ATW Post author

    Don’t trust ANYTHING I say about the Irish.

    “Have you ever noticed how good-looking, charming and trustworthy the Irish are? And to what rigorous standards of personal hygiene they hold themselves? Not to mention their unparalleled intellects are a standard against which all others should be measured. I believe they may just be god’s chosen people.”

    1. Maltmonster

      Truer words were never spoken, although you may have exaggerated the level of personal hygiene. Whack follol de rah !


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