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Stogie Spirits: Jameson Irish Whiskey

5 Nov 2008

Call me what you will, but last night, as I watched the political pundits attempt to analyze the election results with their fancy maps and roundtables of “expert” commentators, I could think of no better activity than drinking whiskey. And since the whole election experience had me craving something strong and reliable, I turned to the trusted brand that bears my middle name.

Founded in 1780 by John Jameson in Dublin, this is a very popular whiskey that probably needs no introduction. Jameson has been crowned the fastest growing international whiskey in the world, with sales reaching 2.6 million cases in June.

Jameson is made exclusively from Irish barley, both malted and un-malted, all grown around the company’s modern distillery in the southern Ireland city of Cork. Kiln-fired then triple distilled, the “grain to glass” strategy is meticulously executed with the goal of balance. This helps the original blend remain “true to the pot still whiskey tradition laid down by John Jameson in the 18th century. The current Master Distiller, Barry Crocket, continues this great distilling tradition by ensuring that John Jameson’s high standards are upheld.”

The original blend‘s pour is amber-gold with a brilliant clarity. Swirl the glass to notice the great “legs” (i.e., high viscosity) and the rich aromas of malt and wood. If you pay closer attention, you’ll be rewarded with more delicate notes of honey, grass, and oak. But don’t breathe in too deeply; the smell of the alcohol will overpower the whiskey’s aromatic subtleties.

Fortunately, you won’t find much alcohol in the flavor profile. Jameson is extremely smooth with a gentle sweetness and an enjoyable interplay between wood and nuts. The warm finish is long enough to chew.

Full-bodied stogies would drown out this spirit’s subtle balance of flavors, and I think most mild cigars are better suited for beer or wine. So, for pairings, look to the medium-bodied spectrum. My recommendations include the Isla de Cuba Classic, Bolivar Royal Corona, Gran Habano #3, Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill, and Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino. Any of these will make excellent companions for this fine whiskey, which retails for $25-35 per 750 ml. bottle (40% alcohol).

No matter what cigar you pair it with or how you drink it, I think you’ll agree that Jameson is an excellent way to get top-notch, reliable whiskey for a reasonable price. Heck, if it’s good enough for my middle name, it’s good enough for your liquor cabinet.

Patrick A

photo credits: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

9 Responses to “Stogie Spirits: Jameson Irish Whiskey”

  1. GeorgeH Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 2:18 am #

    As I watched the returns, all I could think about was how to buy a lifetime of cigars before the liberal hoard in Congress taxes cigars out of existence.

  2. CWS Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 2:24 am #

    I just purchased a box of the Medina 1959s knowing my cigar days are going to get a little more expensive. Buy 'em now . . .

    Good thing I have several bottles of Jameson at home – what a timely review.

  3. Ricardo Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 4:11 am #

    What's the best way to drink Jameson? Straight? On the rocks?

  4. Patrick A Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 4:30 am #

    Keeping it simple is the best policy, in my opinion, and you can't go wrong with straight or on the rocks. But if you want to mix it up a bit, try Jameson with a splash of Diet Coke, ginger ale, or even Sprite.

  5. CWS Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 5:23 am #

    Jameson is great straight up or on the rocks. If you like Manhattans – make sure they use Jameson.

  6. furious Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    While we may end up paying more for our beloved vice, just think that an Obama presidency might begin the arduous process of normalization of relations with Cuba. Maybe we will someday soon partake of Habanos legally like the rest of the world. Now that is some change I can wholeheartedly support. End the embargo, Mr. Obama!

  7. stinkie Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 10:57 am #

    furious-

    I for one will not be able to afford Cubans even if he does lift the band. The prices will be high enough without the tax we are about to get within the next couple of years.

    As for the Jameson, a great Irish Whiskey. I like it on the rocks. Still have some 🙂

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