By Richard Thomas
Thus far, the only expression from Jameson’s new The Whiskey Maker’s trilogy available in the United States is Cooper’s Croze. I can speculate to the reasons why this expression crossed the Atlantic first.
For starters, Cooper’s Croze is New Midleton Master Cooper Ger Buckley’s whiskey, highlighting the wood influence on the flavor of the whiskey. In America, where new white oak contributes between 50 and 80% of the flavor to bourbon, wood-seasoned and -sweetened whiskey is the norm, so Cooper’s Croze is likely to have a more widespread appeal than, say, Distiller’s Safe.
Another reason is that Cooper’s Croze is the oldest member of The Whiskey Maker’s. Although an NAS whiskey, the content floats in a 12 to 16 year age range. Finally, my opinion is that it is the best of the trilogy, although only slightly better than Blender’s Dog.
In the glass, Cooper’s Croze has a pale gold coloring, not unsurprising despite the age. The nose is a sweet one, carrying pears and raisins seasoned with cinnamon, and a trace of citrus petal honey.
On the palate, the whiskey delivers a set of flavors that are exactly what I would expect from an Irish whiskey blend based squarely on pot still stock: honey and toffee done up with peppery spices and thick caramel, rounded out by dried, dark fruits that rise up at the end. The finish sees the caramel fade almost immediately, followed by the dried fruits, to finally leave a warm, spicy, tingling afterglow.
Basically, 70. In the U.S., $70. In Europe, €70 (£53 in the UK). That obviously makes the U.S. the best bargain, because you get 50 ml more liquid for what is effectively a lower price.