Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Matchmaker: Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition


The look of bliss when pairing a 16 oz T-Bone with
a 24 oz Porterhouse. (cigar optional)
Bacon and eggs. Peanut butter and jam. Steak and steak. Some things are naturally suited to each other. Their flavours, their textures, and sometimes even their shared history are so intertwined that a pairing is inevitable. But pairing beer and whisky? Isn't that a recipe for disaster? No, no it isn't. Irish Whiskey and Stout go together like the aforementioned triumvirate. Jameson and Guinness are ubiquitous at any St. Patrick's Day cèilidh. So it's logical that Jameson decided to experiment with this idea. The genesis of this whiskey is described below:


Like all the best conversations, the one between Jameson’s Head of Whiskey Science and the Head Brewer of a local craft beer brewery, started at the bar. A swapping of whiskey and beer barrels soon after, resulted in Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition - triple-distilled, blended Irish Whiskey that has been patiently finished in Irish craft beer-seasoned barrel
(from the Jameson website)


Jameson's agreement is with Cork's Franciscan Well brewery. The brewery isn't seasoning these Jameson casks with beer that isn't up to snuff, either. They're releasing the Jamseon Aged Stout and it has won the Gold Medal in the Speciality category at the International Beer Challenge Awards in 2013 and 2015, along with Gold Award in the World Beer Awards 2015. Not too shabby. So how does it taste?


Tasting Notes


Slainte, mate !


Nose (undiluted): honey, green apple, vanilla and a hint of coffee and cocoa

Palate (undiluted): medium-bodied, vanilla fudge developing a slight coffee bitterness, oak tannins and a nice prickle on the tongue

Finish: medium-short finish, a slight yet pleasant bitterness reminiscent of dark chocolate, more oakiness and butterscotch

The stout influence is subtle, yet it's impossible to miss. Don't believe me? Do a side by side taste-test with regular Jameson, and you'll notice the difference straight away. Adding water tamed some of the Caskmates' sweetness made the cocoa and coffee a bit more prominent, but I prefer this one neat. With ice or water, the balance of the whiskey is not quite right for me. I wouldn't turn it down, but it's better as is.

Conclusion


While blended Irish whiskey like Jameson isn't as en vogue with whiskey connoisseurs as Single Pot Still whiskey, you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you ignored this offering from the best-selling Irish whiskey brand in the world. Jameson counts more than 20 million bottles sold per year, all over the globe. Yes, Jameson is a big brand. No it isn't a small, craft distillery. But the marriage of two of Ireland's most well-known exports, whiskey and stout beer, just works. Recommended.


Rating: 3/5 moustaches

Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad.
But never forget to remember
The things that made you glad

Slainte mhaith !!

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