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County Cork's Franciscan Well Brewery decided to try pouring their stout into used Jameson barrels supplied by their neighbour Midleton; then, when they eventually bottled the stout they returned the barrels to the distillery. They then poured more Jameson into them, and whaddya know: you got Irish whiskey matured in stout barrels. Neat idea? Let's find out.
The colour is a medium copper. On the nose we get that youngish pot still character that you get with the regular expression: grainy and spirity with linseed oil, green apple skins and honeydew; but we also get hints of milk chocolate and green coffee beans. Tinned pears. Bandages. A little hoppy, which I recognize from the Wiser's Hopped (though the Jameson is not a flavoured whiskey like that Canadian is). A drop of water lets the grain breathe, with the fruit becoming more dominant. Pleasant but also a little bitter and slightly off-putting.
Oakier on the palate, with more hops, baking spices and very dark chocolate. Creamy mouthfeel. Some bitter black coffee. Unfortunately, the oak dominates the pot still character. However, water improves things, bringing out more fruits such as mango, papaya and green apple. Rather imbalanced between smooth and bitter.
The finish is also chocolatey but is rather mouth-pulling and, again, too bitter. As you may have gathered, the key words here are chocolate, coffee and bitter. These qualities worked brilliantly in Glenmorangie's Signet, but much less so here. There seems to be a drive to marry whisk(e)y and beer, as this and that Wiser's attempt to do, but for me it doesn't really work; in fact, this reminds me a lot of that Wiser's. But rather than getting "the best of both worlds", I'm getting the worst elements of each.