By Richard Thomas
Irish whiskey is booming in a huge way, and by far and away the largest driver and beneficiary of that boom is Jameson. Roughly three-quarters of those rapidly growing sales are of whiskeys made at Jameson’s home, at the New Midleton Distillery in Cork County. Between that and the sell-off of Midleton brands like Tullamore Dew and Paddy, a product line shake up was inevitable, and that is exactly what has happened in the last several months.
Part of that was the introduction of Jameson Deconstructed, a travel retail series. Each of this trio of whiskeys is intended to highlight a prominent aspect of Jameson, and Jameson Bold puts the focus on the part enthusiasts are most interested in these days, namely pot still whiskey.
After the consolidation of the Irish whiskey industry down to just two distilleries, Bushmills and New Midleton, in the 1970s, it was the latter that was instrumental in keeping the pot still whiskey tradition alive. One of the signature elements of Irish whiskey, it differs from malt whiskey in being made with both malted and unmalted barley.
Jameson Bold is not a single pot still expression, but essentially the regular Jameson altered to bring more of the pot still character out of it. Like Jameson standard, it is bottled at 40% ABV.
In the glass, the liquid is golden. The nose is quite hearty, and surprisingly grassy and earthy for something that is supposed to be emphasizing the pot still side of things. Still, underneath the close-mown field scent is a spicy honey undercurrent, exactly the sort of thing I was expecting to find.
The texture is silky and wet on the tongue, like skim milk, and the flavor sits astride grainy and grassy on the one hand, and spicy and honey sweet on the other. It’s simple, straight forward, and tasty. The finish runs light and spicy.
All the Jameson Deconstructeds are available for €36, and since these are travel retail products, that is what you should expect to pay in practice. The upshot of that price tag is that it’s for a one liter bottle, much as Jameson Signature is.