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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Jameson 18 year old Bow Street, Cask Strength 2019 edition

I was really REALLY excited in 2018 when I'd heard that Jameson was releasing a full strength version of their 18 year old. Five minutes later I realized this was really only a half-step up from cask strength grain whiskey, and my enthusiasm subsided. Then I had to keep reminding myself of that for more than a year before I truly lost interest in a whole bottle. The stories we tell ourselves...

This did not stop me from taking part in a bottle split of the 2019 edition, though. And so here it is, four years later, cask strength Jameson with age...

Distillery: Midleton
Owner: Pernod Ricard
Brand: Jameson
Type: Irish Blended Whiskey (grain + pot stillwhiskey)
Age: at least 18 years old
Maturation: a mix of bourbon and sherry casks
Release year: 2019
Alcohol by Volume: 55.1%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(from a bottle split)

NEAT

All dessert things on the nose. Vanilla, salt water taffy, candy corn, coconut cream (active oak + grain whiskey), cheese danish and crème brûlée.

The palate begins with baking spices, nectarines and salty popcorn up front, tapioca pudding in the back. It picks up a dash of Madeira with time, and more than a dash of wheated bourbon (Old Weller).

The finish is a pairing of Madeira with an egg custard and a shot of OWA 107.

DILUTED to ~40%abv, or ¾ tbsp of water per 30mL whiskey

Now it noses of coconut cream, rosewater, vanilla and shortbread.

The palate is hotter, bitter, very rough, coated with simple syrup and imitation vanilla extract.

It finishes with Nillas, raw grain whiskey and pepper sauce.

WORDS WORDS WORDS

I've never had a whisk(e)y drop from a B to a D+ with dilution, until now. Once I watered this thing it sprouted weeds. The high grain content and aggressive casks may have been the culprits. BUT, I found the whiskey to be very enjoyable when neat, something to indulge in with or for dessert. It's better than most 18yo scotch blends, but then again there aren't any cask strength 18yo scotch blends offered by the majors. Whether it's worth the price is up for debate but, per Winesearcher, Bow Street averages only a 20% premium over the standard diluted, dyed and filtered Jameson 18. And that is unusually reasonable.

Availability - three editions can be found at specialty retailers in the US and Europe
Pricing - $160-$250 (US); $140-$240 (Europe w/VAT)
Rating - 84 (do not dilute)

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