Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
To mark today's date (which has a private wistfulness for me), I decided to splurge on this bottle and give it a try. Not being a big Jameson fan, it was a bit of a risk, but well worth it.
As you would expect, the colour is much darker, like a deep liquid gold, very rich. Fairly runny legs in the glass, which I suppose befits a 40% ABV triple-distilled liquid?
It is a light nose, almost bourbon-y with vanilla and honey, and some malt in the background - somewhat damp and a little rubbery somehow. Water brings out some caramel, which adds to the bourbon comparison.
But the taste is definitely deeper than the nose - you can taste those 18 years in the oak, it's very rich. Again, it is reminiscent of bourbon with vanilla, nutmeg and honey, yet still very clean (again, that sharp triple distillation). Water brings out not only caramel but also butter - almost thickening it rather than thinning it out.
The finish is just right - not too long, very clean and crisp. Scrumptious! This is perfectly balanced, all the sherry, oak and barley plays very nicely together in the mouth. An excellent Irish whisky (likely the best I've had, edging out my previous favourite Black Bush). If this matters to you, this is the same bottle code as what Jim Murray tasted (JJ18-8) and gave a score of 91.
As I mentioned, I've never been a fan of Jameson but that opinion was based only on the standard expression - this is much richer but has much of the same crispness. I also have a bottle of the Rare Vintage Reserve, but I shall save that for another occasion!