Jameson Anthology is a new series of limited editions from Midleton distillery in Ireland. It consists of two volumes:
- Vol.1 Remastered is inspired by discontinued classics which serve as an inspiration for new whiskey compositions. Jameson 15 comes first, but I hear Jameson Gold or Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve could be next for instance.
- Vol.2 Remixed on the other hand introduces experiments, trying to push the boundaries of the brand.
Last week a first expression was presented: Jameson 15 Year Old Remastered. This is a single pot still whiskey which relies on three spirit styles – which I could try separately at Bow Street during the presentation. A light LMP1 style (tropical fruits and light spice), a medium ‘Mod Pot’ style (orchard fruits, firm spice), and the so-called MMP4 heavy pot style aged in sherry casks.
This heavy spirit (stills run faster, with a wider cut allowing some feinty flavours) is said to be close to the style produced at the Bow Street distillery at the end of the 19th century. As sherry casks were a critical element in the old Jameson style, this new expression also has more of these in the recipe.
Kevin O’Gorman and his team at Irish Distillers didn’t have the intention to create an accurate replica of Jameson 15 Years (discontinued in 2000). Instead they wanted to create a modern version based on the current styles of Midleton spirits. So while they’re inspired by great old whiskeys, the recipes are adapted to the current-day preferences (which explains it being cask strength). More remastered whiskeys will follow in the future, although I would expect a remixed experimental bottling first.
Jameson 15 yo Single Pot Still (56,4%, OB ‘Remastered’ 2021, 2220 btl.)
Nose: the sherry influence comes in a clear nutty layer (walnuts, hazelnuts) on top of an orchard fruit base. Mainly (bruised) red apples and autumnal fruits. Hints of butter, quickly moving towards dried grass, clove, ginger and black pepper. A herbal -slightly musty- footprint as well, almost whiffs of OBE. Overall quite a masculine version. I think bringing it down with water makes it more balanced and brings the complexity up at the same time.
Mouth: I’m struck by a big minty/mentholated core. It’s quite robust, with oily notes and toffee sweetness, but mostly generous pot still spice. Ginger, liquorice, pepper and cardamom. On the palate the lighter fruity style (mandarin) shines through more than on the nose. Then back to fudge and figs, with oak tannins towards the end.
Finish: long, with a lot of warming spice and some toasted wood.
A very fine single pot still whiskey, which effectively brings out a richer, heavier style. It has an old-style character and a true sense of maturity too, which I’m sure many whiskey lovers will applaud.
Now curb your enthusiasm as this is definitely pushing boundaries in terms of pricing. At € 300 a bottle (50 cl, mind) it’s double the price of the older Jameson 18 Years Cask Strength – strange. The original 15 earned its status from people drinking it and loving it… let’s hope the new version doesn’t just become a collector’s item sitting on shelves. Other than that, bring on the remastered JRVR.
All bottles will be sold in two ballots. The first opens today from the Barrel Club Midleton Distillery, the second one will run on the Jameson website, starting 8th April. Too bad international shipping is quite limited.