Irish whiskey is believed to be one of the fastest growing spirits in the world. And when you think of Irish Whiskey, you probably think of Jameson. But if you’ve ever thought that Jameson could have just a little bit more ‘oomph’, then this is really a great time to be alive.
Jameson have just debuted Jameson 18-Year-Old Bow Street Edition this week and it’s the first whiskey to be matured in its Dublin distillery since 1975. Created as a celebration of where the brand started, the Bow Street Edition represents the brand’s strongest globally available whiskey ever, and its new top of the line.
Jameson closed its Bow Street distillery, Dublin, in 1975. Today, the old distillery serves as a visitors center for the brand in Dublin where visitors can learn about Jameson’s history and participate in whiskey tastings and blending classes.
Now the thing about the Bow Street Edition is that it is being released as a ‘cask strength’. As the name implies, they are not diluting the whiskey as they normally would, but offering it at the same strength as when it has finished its cask maturation. All of this mean that Bow Street Edition clocks in at 55.3 percent ABV, more than 15 percentage points higher than the standard 40 percent Jameson Irish Whiskey.
“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 master blender Billy Leighton.
Now Jameson already have an 18 Year available, but this “reinterpretation” is a nod to the traditional ‘marrying’ method.
What does that mean? Well, having spent 17 years in Bourbon and Sherry casks, this blend of pot still and grain Irish whiskey, is then married together. To achieve the finish, it is then 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.
A Matured Taste
The results are described by the brand as offering a “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. “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,” Leighton continues.
Jameson recognizes that it’s all a bit different from what they usually do. “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,” added Simon Fay, international marketing director at Irish Distillers. “Consumers are looking for increased choice in style and quality in Irish whiskey and Jameson, as the category leader, is committed to satisfying this appetite.”
The expression is being referred as the company’s ‘rarest release’ and expected to be released on an annual basis.
As you’d expect, all those years of aging come at a price. The Bow Street Edition will be available in 20 markets from July at an RRP of €240 (or roughly AUD$385.26 or US$292.20).
Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Old Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Rich wood-driven influence with deep toffee notes and spice.
Palate: Toffee and oak remain consistent with hints of leather and vanilla along with a subtle sherry nuttiness creating depth and complexity.
Finish: Long and full, with the sweet toffee notes, slowly fading while the toasted oak and spice linger throughout until the very end.