Jameson Special Reserve, 12 y/o

Maker: Irish Distillers, Midleton, Cork, Irelandwpid-2015-03-13-17.43.43.jpg.jpeg

Style: Irish blend

ABV: 40%

Michigan State Minimum: $70

Appearance: Bright amber (coloring probably used).

Nose: Cut oak, cashews, vanilla, alcohol.

Palate: Full bodied, soft and mild. Butterscotch hard candy, alcohol.

Finish: Chewy. Oak with a whiff of smoke. Fairly short.

Parting words: There are two age stated whiskeys from Jameson available in the state of Michigan, this and the 18 y/o edition. The 18 y/o goes for $140 here so chances are good that this is the oldest Jameson expression you’ll see grace this blog.

This is certainly a step up from the standard Jameson. It has much more depth of flavor and a lot more oak. Unfortunately, the charming floral characteristics of the standard edition are gone too. Still, this is a tasty, flavorful whiskey.

Its only problem (one shared with all the other Jamesons) is price. In Michigan, Redbreast 12 is $65, Power’s 12 is $45 and Knappogue Castle 12 is $32(!).  All of those are as good or better than Jameson 12, and two of those are made at the same distillery as Jameson! That price disparity earns Jameson Special Reserve, 12 y/o only a mild recommendation.

Review: Magner’s Original Irish Cider

Maker: Magner’s/Bulmer’s, Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland (C&C Group)

ABV: 4.5%

Appearance: gold with an odd pinkish hue. Fizzy, but the head dissipates quickly.

Nose: Yeasty and dry, sourdough bread.

On the Palate: slightly sweet with a hint of sourness like Granny Smith apples or the cider apple equivalent.  A hint of some other sort of fruit is lurking in the background. Cherry or raspberry maybe?

Finish: Dry fading into an assertively yeasty taste.

Parting words: This cider is firmly in the British style. Sugar has been added and it is effective at tempering the yeast and sour
dryness. It’s more amicable than some of the bone-dry English ciders that seem to take their cues from Champagne than anything else. But in sweetening itself up it loses some of the subtlety that makes the bone dry British ciders interesting.  At any rate, a nice refreshing drink, but not worth seeking out.