Jameson gets ‘serious’ with cask strength whiskeyBy Nicola Carruthers
Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers unit is set to release the first cask strength iteration of Jameson Irish whiskey on a global scale.
Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength is a “reinterpretation” of Jameson 18 Years. The expression has been created to mark the return of part of the production process to the brand’s original home in Smithfield, Dublin, for the first time since 1975.
The new expression has spent 17 years in Bourbon and Sherry casks and is a blend of pot still and grain Irish whiskeys. It is then married together and re-casked in first-fill ex-Bourbon American oak barrels for six to 12 months in the maturation house at Jameson’s Bow Street site.
The expression is described as having “rich wood-driven influence with deep toffee notes and spice” on the nose, while the palate is said to have hints of toffee, oak, leather and vanilla.
“With this first ever global launch of a cask strength Jameson, I’m thrilled that Irish whiskey fans around the world can now experience the full intensity of our whiskey or add a few drops of water to enjoy it at their own preferred strength,” said Billy Leighton, master blender at Midleton Distillery, where Jameson is distilled.
“As a tribute to John Jameson’s distilling legacy in Smithfield, we’ve introduced some methods that would have been employed in days past. The final maturation period in Bow Street is our nod to the traditional ‘marrying’ method.
“We’ve put our own Jameson stamp on it by using first-fill Bourbon barrels, whereas the traditional approach would be to use casks multiple times.”
Simon Fay, international marketing director at Irish Distillers, added: “While Jameson’s approachability has been key to its success, we had an opportunity with Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength to reinforce the more serious whiskey side of the brand’s heritage. For years, Jameson fans have been asking for a permanent cask strength expression of Jameson 18 Years.”
The first batch has been bottled at 55.3% abv and will be available in 20 markets from July at an RRP of €240 (US$292.20).