Thanks to /u/Orehnmadgib for pouring me this dram.
This past year (2018) I had lots and lots of plans. Finish my accounting schooling, find a new job in a new career space, learn how to spell backwards in Korean, and review enough Irish Whiskey to finally hit 100 total reviews.
I’m happy to say I got most of that done, and my language specific dyslexia is increasing by the moment. As for posting them, I may have gotten behind what with learning derivatives and what circles look like backwards. So I’m posting them now! Yay!
Beer casks are a totally new world for whiskey makers. What do they do? For quite a few of them it can be quite scary. The beer has fewer restrictions on how it’s made (depending on the type of beer). What happens when an Irish whiskey, made under strict rules of only using water, barley (malted and unmalted), and yeast, then goes into something that could have had sugars added?
Not only that, but we know by now the process doesn’t equal the result. Put coffee in a cask, and then put whiskey in the cask (after dumping the coffee out) gets flavours beyond just coffee.
So that’s why I’m pretty jazzed about Jameson Caskmates IPA. Another beer has been made using ex-whiskey barrels, and then those barrels were sent back to Jameson to finish their whiskey.
Now don’t get me wrong: I don’t expect it to be the next coming of whiskey Jesus. I expect it to try new things. Trying new things now means we get cooler things in the future. Or we don’t make the same mistake again.
Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 10YR 8/10
Nose: Cereal, sour vegetal hops, sour cream
Dry nose. Gone is any bread dough/standard Irish note, replaced by that probably all too familiar “oh shit some Hipster used a ton of hops to see how far the IBU can go” note.
That leads to a mixture of creaminess and that sour note. Sour cream isn’t always a bad thing but certainly is unique. Not a lot going on the nose.
Taste: Apple, sour hops, dinner roll, cloves
Some fruit, more sour notes with some floral/vegetal edges. Think Simcoe hops? Maybe, I’m still trying to learn enough to use it as a note.
Bready now, but nicely sweet too. Some spice to round it out. Getting better, though still a bit odd.
Finish: Cheesecake, lemon, rosemary, brown sugar, dry cocoa
That creamy/sour has nicely combined at the end. I think the finish is 100% why this exists. It’s where it starts to really come together.
Conclusion: Gets better as you drink more. Which is basically all alcohols, but let’s ignore that for the time being. I kid, of course. Some get worse. I’m writing this on the first New Years I’ve woken up not hungover in a long time, and yeah, some get worse. Looking at you vodka.
So you start with an off note, sour nose and end up with a proper balance of sour, vegetal, and dry/sugar. It’s an interesting transition. If anything, as I said in the finish, this was bottled because the aftertaste is so good.
If that’s something you go for, grab this. Personally I enjoyed the stout finish better, however, I prefer stouts more too. If you like high IBUs this may be up your alley. All in all a cool idea, and makes me want to hunt down a sample of the local one (made from Beau’s ex casks) in my area.
World Whiskey review #344, Ireland review #92, Whiskey Network review #1645