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Finally a Pot Still Whiskey from Jameson: Jameson Remastered 15 YO Single Pot Still

What you need to know:

  • Jameson would be releasing its first pot still expression in 2 decades, after the Jameson 15 Year Old Pot Still range was discontinued in 2000.
  • This is part of the Jameson Anthology series that will look back at the history of Jameson bottlings of yesteryear and imagine the future of Jameson. 
  • The Jameson Remastered 15 Year Old Single Pot Still is a remastered version of the discontinued Jameson 15 Year Old Pot Still.
  • The whiskey is expected to have rich nutty tones, dark berries and ripe orchard fruits, and a robust and spicy palate with pot still influences. 
  • This is bottled at 56.4% ABV and comes in a 500ml bottle with an outturn of only 2,220 bottles, retailing at US$340. Only available via online ballots (Link below!)
  • This is enticing and would likely taste great. Yet there seems to be little sense to paying so much for an artificially rare 500ml bottle that the distillery struggles to embrace. There are other cheaper options from Midleton Distillery.
  • Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Not

 

The world’s most popular Irish whiskey brand, Jameson, would be releasing a special edition Irish pot still style Jameson expression – the Jameson Remastered 15 Years Old Single Pot Still.

 

 

This is part of an exciting new line of whiskies under the new Jameson Anthology series. The series will comprise 2 musically themed volumes that would look back at the history of Jameson bottlings of yesteryear (Jameson Remastered) and imagine the future of Jameson (Jameson Remixed). The upcoming bottle is the first expression in Jameson Remastered.

Jameson Remastered would celebrate the spirit of classic discontinued Jameson whiskeys, by reinventing them with modern techniques to deliver a new taste experience. Jameson Remixed, meanwhile, will explore and experiment with new “tunes” from Jameson for an altogether different take on the classic Irish icon.

 

 

The Jameson Remastered 15 Year Old Single Pot Still is a remastered version of a “much loved classic” last produced in 2000.

 

The classic Jameson 15 Year Old which was discontinued in 2000.

 

 

A little Jameson history

 

After the discontinuation of the Jameson 15YO in 2000, the current Jameson Whiskey only comes in the Irish blended whiskey style.  

 

For some context, Irish whiskey is traditionally made under the “Irish pot still” style – which (1) uses a pot still for distillation and (2) uses a mixture of malted and unmalted barley. This gives Irish pot still whiskey a distinctive spicy flavour and and improved creamy texture. 

However, in the 70s, Irish Distillers Limited (the owner of Jameson and most other big Irish whiskey brands) who was trying to increase sales, realised that new drinkers may not appreciate the spicy and peppery flavour profile of Irish pot still whiskey. They decided to develop a much lighter style of Irish whiskey made by blending pot still whiskey with grain whiskey - or Irish blended whiskey.

This is why the typical bottles of Jameson we see today are blended Irish whiskey and so incredibly easy to drink.   

 

 

Jameson Remastered 15 Year Old

 

The old Bow Street Distillery in Dublin was where Jameson was distilled until 1971 (Image Source: Jameson)

 

The Jameson Remastered 15 Year Old is bottled at 56.4% ABV and comes in a 500ml bottle with an outturn of only 2,220 bottles.

The Jameson Remastered 15 Year Old is composed 3 different styles of pot still whiskey (“Light Pot Still”, “Medium” and “Traditional Pot Still” (learn more about this in our Midleton Distillery Spotlight), spanning 15 to 17 years of maturation in a mixture of American bourbon barrels and Oloroso shery butts. 

A significant portion of the whiskey would be sherry-matured, as as tribute to the traditional style of Jameson made at its old Bow Street Distillery.   

Set to appeal to the nostalgia of Jameson fans (probably not to those who are underaged before 2000), this bottle would be wrapped in newspaper with one side uncovering Jameson’s heritage and the other marking the present day.

Jameson’s Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman said this in the press release: 

“For this limited-edition bottling, we seized the opportunity to combine the traditional single pot still style with the strong influence of the sherry casks, which was integral to historic whiskey production. We’re confident to have developed a contemporary iteration of Jameson 15 Year Old that pays tribute to the torch bearers who put Irish whiskey on the map, whilst nodding to the current generation of talented craftspeople at Midleton Distillery. We can’t wait for Jameson fans to sip, savour and enjoy it to the very last drop.”

 

 

Official tasting notes by Master Distiller

 

Nose
Rich nutty tones, dark berries and ripe orchard fruits mixed with sweet woodland spices. Underlying hints of oak combined with dried herbs and traditional pot still flavours, all wonderfully balanced and complex.

 

Taste
Robust and spicy with the pot still influences to the fore accompanied by the oak’s tannins alongside silky, textured layers of sweet dairy fudge and vanilla. Soft fruit notes of cherry are intertwined with fig and plum.

 

Finish
A rich and lasting finish with the duo of fruit and spices lingering before the toasted oak’s drying tannins have the last word.

 

 

Price, Balloting Date, Shipping 

The bottle would retail at €300 (or around US$340), but given the limited quantities, this would only be available via 2 online ballots. The first ballot will open to members of Barrel Club Midleton Distillery at 9am Irish Saving Time (IST) on Monday 4th April. The second ballot will open to all other whiskey fans at 2pm (IST) on Friday 8th April. 

To sign up for the ballot, visit the link here.

Shipping to successful whiskey fans will take place from the end of April. Note that Jameson Distillery has added that shipping is only available to the following countries: 

  • Republic of Ireland
  • Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland)
  • Australia
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • Singapore
  • China
  • New Zealand
  • Japan 

 

 

Our Take

 

Midleton Distillery, which produces Jameson, is an incredibly advanced facility that has a large production capacity and could produce over 15 different brands of Irish whiskey (Image Source: Pernod Ricard)

 

This is enticing. My experience with well-aged Jamesons has been nothing short of enjoyable, especially with the cask strength edition of the Jameson 18 Year Old Bow Street expression which features a lot of sweet chocolatey and nutty notes and a creamy and smooth, very drinkable texture.

Based on the official tasting notes and the information provided, this bottling is likely to be much more complex with robust, spicy notes, stronger bitterness from European (sherry) oak and a more prominent dryness that you do not often see in Jameson whiskey.   

It seems that Jameson as a brand highly values its image as a very friendly and drinkable Irish blended whiskey. They are clearly fully within their means to bring back the (spicier and more robust) pot still edition of Jameson as a core range whiskey. Midleton Distillery has an immense production capacity. Yet they refuse to do so, and would only bring it back as a highly limited edition. 

In light of these concerns, it’s amusing how Jameson does not seem to fully embrace its past as an Irish pot still whiskey. Jameson’s press release wishes to pays homage to Jameson’s origin as a pot still whiskey, yet constantly emphasises that this is a “reinvented” classic or a “contemporary iteration” of the old bottling that “remains in tune with today”. It is as if there is a concern that the original pre-2000 Jameson pot still whiskey would not be well received by today’s snowflake drinkers. 

For these reasons, there seems to be little sense to forking out US$340 for an artificially rare 500ml bottle that the Jameson brand does not appear to truly stand by. Don’t get me wrong – I think this would likely taste great. But this is also an incredibly expensive Jameson. If I were craving a robust Irish pot still whiskey from Midleton Distillery, I’d buy a Green Spot or Yellow Spot whiskey instead. The pot stills they use would be the exact same ones. 

 

Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Not

 

If you liked reading about this new Jameson, you’ll probably like these Irish whiskey related content:

 

 

@charsiucharlie



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