...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

John Jameson, The Man and his Whiskey

The Amazing Story of John Jameson

After an amorous bull had an intimate encounter with his mother, John Jameson gestated within her body for just under 37 months.  When he'd decided he'd gone too long without a drink, he left his mother's womb fully bearded and shoes buckled.

At age 4, John found the offending bull then killed him, f***ed him, and ate him.

At age 6, John started distilling poitín for the local publicians.  Since his 2-year-old sister didn't like the double-distilled result, John created the triple-distillation process.

When an excise officer of The Crown came to the Jamesons' household to collect tax on the whiskey, John killed him, f***ed him, and ate him.

With the need for a larger production facility, the 12-year-old John walked to Dublin, hand-towing thirty carriages of bricks.  Along the way, he stopped in local towns, rebuilding churches, impregnating infertile women, solving crimes, and sharing his whiskey.

Upon arriving in Dublin, John built the Jameson's Distillery by hand.  He welded the pot stills, redirected the Liffey, and blew his own bottles (which thanked him afterwards).

As nationalism grew and conflicts increased between Ireland and Britain, John decided to hold a peaceful conference between Robert Lyons and Prime Minister Archibald Primrose's Secretary of the Summons, George Smith.  With considerable whiskey being poured, the meeting was a rousing success until the drunken Smith declared that the "worst of France's brandy is better than this Mick piss."  John promptly killed him, f***ed him, and ate him.

In an attempt to deal with his anger management issues, John arranged a meeting with Mohandas Ghandi.  John built a sailboat by hand and sailed backwards across the Atlantic, dug the Panama Canal for a shortcut, navigated the Pacific in his sleep, then arrived in India after one day of travel.

Learning extensive meditation, John instantly became non-violent and a vegetarian.  He built an airship and flew back to Ireland.  Now in a great state of calm, he created the Redbreast, Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell, Green (and Yellow, Orange, Red, Blue, and Pink) Spot brands.

After single-handedly mediating the Anglo-Irish treaty, John Jameson swam to the North Pole and has been there ever since, working on improving polar bear breeding success rates using methods deemed "unorthodox" by 10 out of 10 scientists.

Distillery: Midleton
Brand: Jameson
Type: Irish Blended Whiskey (pot still and grain whiskey)
Current Owner: Pernod Ricard
Age: at least 6 years
Maturation: mostly ex-bourbon barrels, some ex-sherry
Alcohol by Volume: 40%

To many Americans, Jameson's IS Irish Whiskey and it's often shorthand for the Irish drinking experience in general.  I wouldn't say that's the most informed approach, but Jameson's is here in the States and it has dug in deeply.

I used to drink Jameson all the time, mostly because it was Irish and also whiskey.  But I never stopped to consider if it was any good.  The brand influence had overpowered my decision-making process as it had to so many other Yanks.

I haven't ordered it in a bar nor purchased a 750mL bottle of it in many years (thanks to Powers!).  But since it was my first go-to whiskey, I thought it best to give it a proper report -- and bring this Blend Month to a close.

The Tastin':

Color -- Trumpet brass (how 'bout them apples?)
Nose -- Oak, laundry detergent, oceanic, vanilla, salt + flower blossoms, apples, maple syrup (after some time)
Palate -- Vanilla + cantaloupe, zucchini bread, a little salt, thin but smooth
Finish -- Short-ish, vanilla, a little sour, sugar cookies

Nose -- Gets considerably more pungent; oaked rotting apple slices, paint VOC, paper, pears
Palate -- Creamier, brown sugar, fruity, mild
Finish -- Short, vanilla + brown sugar

Recently, I've been seeing some negative reviews for this whiskey.  They were getting me a bit worried and my expectations were set low.  But upon first nosing, those concerns were washed away.  While Jameson is not the best Irish whiskey out there, it's still one of the better choices in its price range.

I found the nose to be more interesting than the palate, which is unusual in my experience with Irish whiskey blends.  I liked it better neat, but some folks might like a little water.  It gets a little sleepy with ice or club soda.

Ultimately it's about one's expectations.  It's no dynamo, but I don't think that's what one is after when purchasing a $20 bottle of triple-distilled whiskey.  So enjoy without guilt and you will appease John Jameson.

Availability - Everywhere
Pricing - Great at $18-21, don't pay $25 or more
Rating - 79