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Jameson Irish Whiskey Does a Major Overhaul Of Its Portfolio

Change in the whiskey world is unavoidable, especially in a day and age where so many new whiskies are being released by craft outlets and larger distilleries alike. This evolution seems to have come to popular brand Jameson Irish Whiskey as well in the form of a major restructuring of its whiskey line up and introducing of multiple new bottlings.

This is one of those stories that requires word directly from the brand behind such large-scale upheaval, so we’ve put full notes from Jameson at the end of this story. In essence, however, the new portfolio is made up of The Whiskey Makers Series, the range of Heritage whiskeys, and The Deconstructed Series with the original Jameson Irish Whiskey at the core.

“The restructure of the Jameson family is the most significant move in our brand’s recent history,” said Daniel Lundberg, Global Brand Director for Jameson, in a statement. “This is an exceptionally exciting development that positions Jameson at the forefront of innovation and advance within the Irish Whiskey category. Today we finally get to unveil our new family globally and witness Irish Whiskey fans discovering new stories, flavours and experiences from Jameson.”

Jameson Irish Whiskey
image via Jameson

As for the specifics:

The Whiskey Makers Series

A brand new range of super-premium Jameson whiskeys – The Whiskey Makers Series – sits within the refreshed family and is comprised of three whiskies that celebrate the people behind Jameson and their craft.

The Distiller’s Safe celebrates the role of Jameson’s Head Distiller, Brian Nation, and is a true showcase of the original copper pot still distillate. A purist of whiskey making, Brian explores the influence of the copper on the new-make spirit, using a maturation process that skilfully preserves the qualities of the original distillate, allowing the flavours developed in the pot still to take centre stage. Brian’s tool of choice – the spirit safe – allows him to fine tune the whiskey’s style at any point during the distillation process and the resulting blended whiskey carries distinct sweetness from barley sugar and gentle notes of apricot, cinnamon and melon. A smooth, light whiskey with a luminous, zesty finish.

The Cooper’s Croze showcases the role of Jameson’s Head Cooper, Ger Buckley, and explores the influence that maturation in casks has on whiskey. A fifth generation cooper, Ger has a deep relationship with wood and is tasked with selecting, repairing and maintaining Midleton’s diverse and treasured barrels. Ger’s prized possession – a croze – passed down through his family, is used to make the groove where the head of the cask is positioned. The resulting blended whiskey is matured in virgin American oak barrels, seasoned bourbon barrels and Iberian sherry casks, a combination that delivers vanilla sweetness, rich fruit flavours and a balance of floral and spice notes.

The Blender’s Dog celebrates the role of Jameson Head Blender, Billy Leighton; a tribute to the fine art of blending. A master at matching whiskeys across ages and characters, Billy is tasked with uniting the crafts supplied by distiller and cooper to create harmonious, perfectly balanced whiskeys. Billy’s go-to instrument – a ‘dog’ – is used to collect whiskey samples from the casks, allowing Billy to bring together complementary spirits from Midleton’s extensive range of maturing stock. The Blender’s Dog is a perfect balance of spirit, wood and time; a rich, rounded whiskey with butterscotch sweetness, spices, tannins and an exceptionally long finish.

The Distiller’s Safe is available globally with an RRP of €70 or local equivalent (70cl bottle, 40% ABV)
The Cooper’s Croze is available globally with anRRP of €70 or local equivalent (70cl bottle, 40% ABV)
The Blender’s Dog is available globally with an RRP of €70 or local equivalent (70cl, 40% ABV)

The range of Heritage whiskeys

The range of Heritage whiskeys is a new collection of super-premium Irish Whiskeys that bring to the fore over 200 years of remarkable stories and milestones from the brand’s rich history.

Jameson Black Barrel is a triple-distilled Irish whiskey that pays tribute to the cooper’s method of charring barrels for a second time. Charring is a traditional method for invigorating barrels, although today at Midleton double-charred barrels are used by choice rather than through necessity. The expression uses a blend of ‘small batch’ grain and traditional pot still Irish Whiskey, which is distilled just once a year at Midleton, and is matured in a combination of American oak, sherry casks and double-charred bourbon barrels. Time spent maturing in these barrels imparts the whiskey with intensified notes of vanilla sweetness and caramel, alongside toasted wood, fruit, and warm spice.

Jameson Crested, launched globally in March 2016, is a triple-distilled Irish Whiskey that celebrates the first drops of whiskey to be bottled, sealed and labelled at the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin, marking the moment in time (1963) when Jameson took full control of the whiskey making process, from grain to glass. Up until then, distillers – including the Jameson Distillery – sold barrels of whiskey to bonders to bottle themselves, however, reports of whiskey bonders watering down their whiskey in the 1960s led Jameson to complete the process inside the distillery walls to protect the quality of the whiskey. Jameson Crested brings together rich pot still Irish Whiskey and grain whiskey, matured in a high proportion of sherry casks, as well as bourbon barrels. The result is a nose of vivid sherry and pot still aromas, a palate of toasted wood, spice and chocolate, and a warm, lingering sherry finish.

Jameson Signature is a triple-distilled Irish Whiskey that bears the signature of John Jameson, a mark of quality that has appeared since the early days of the Bow Street Distillery, when all casks were signed off by John Jameson. The expression celebrates this tradition and the generations of meticulously transcribed distillers’ notebooks, a sign that attention to detail remains at the heart of Jameson. Jameson Signature is a commitment from the brand to uphold the founder’s core values of craftsmanship and quality, with a robust and complex whiskey that boasts deep flavours of cedar, vanilla, citrus and dried fruits and a smooth balance of honey.

Jameson Black Barrel is available globally with an RRP of €47 or local equivalent (70cl bottle, 40% ABV)
Jameson Crested is available globally with an RRP of €36 or local equivalent (70cl bottle, 40% ABV)
Jameson Signature is available in Global Travel Retail with an RRP of €40 or local equivalent (70cl, 40% ABV)

The Deconstructed Series

The Deconstructed Series is a range of super-premium Irish Whiskeys that explores the key flavour notes of the original Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Jameson Bold, influenced by pot still whiskey, is an intense and robust whiskey, with a strong influence of spices. Initially sweet and creamy, with an abundance of soft fruits, the pot still spices develop to bring a perfect balance of rich barley notes and mellow baked apple.

Jameson Lively, influenced by grain whiskey, offers an elegant and floral taste combined with a citrus lightness. Its soft and sweet taste, provided by the perfume bon bons alongside turkish delight, combines with drying hints of citrus to balance the sweetness. A little chilli oil brings a prickle of spices to the mouth.

Jameson Round, influenced by the wood contribution, is a balance of rich and plump charred wood tones. A perfect harmony of diverse flavours, sweet vanilla fuses with soft ripe fruit and, together, combines with the rich Pot Still Spices on a firm foundation of toasted oak.

Jameson Bold is available in Global Travel Retail with an RRP of €36 or local equivalent (70cl bottle, 40% ABV)
Jameson Lively is available in Global Travel Retail with an RRP of €36 or local equivalent (70cl bottle, 40% ABV)
Jameson Round is available in Global Travel Retail with an RRP of €36 or local equivalent (70cl bottle, 40% ABV)

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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