Bow Street, Dublin once home to the Jameson distillery but now a multi-million pound Jameson Visitor Centre sees the return of liquid to within it’s walls for the final leg in it’s maturation process.
The Bow Street Distillery home to Jameson from 1780 until 1971 when production was moved to its current home, the Midleton Distillery in Cork.
Some fifteen years on since the launch of the Jameson 18 expression, April of last year (2018) saw the reappearance of Jameson 18 at cask strength, in fancy new packaging and with a higher RRP after the previous expression was withdrawn from the shelves in the early months of 2017. With a previous RRP in and round the £110 mark for the 40% ABV the new Cask Strength (55.3%) can be found online or in-store in and around the £210.
Within it’s 230 odd years of existence this is the first cask strength whiskey to be released globally under the Jameson name. However there have been previous cask strength releases such as Jameson Black Barrel Cask Strength at 60% ABV for hand bottling at the distillery.
Distilled in Midleton, Cork, matured in bourbon and sherry casks for 18 years the blend of Pot Still and Grain whiskey is married together then re-casked into ex-bourbon American oak barrels and finally posted a few hundred kilometres up the road to Dublin for a final 6 – 12 months of maturation in the Jameson Bow Street Visitor Centre, this making it the only live maturation warehouse in Dublin. A fantastic marketing idea to keep the link between Jameson and Bow Street alive as no whiskey has been distilled or matured onsite since production stopped in 1971.
Jameson Bow Street Cask Strength 18 Years – 55.3% ABV
On The Nose – Not as powering as you’d expect from 55.3%, rich wooden notes with underlying aromas of caramel sweetness, almost burnt toffee and hints of pot still spice.
In The Mouth – Thick like a chewy leather, toffee and wooden oak notes are still present along with an every growing splash of caramel. However a touch of sherry, strawberry and walnut that weren’t present on the nose.
Down the hatch Conclusions – The notes of toffee, caramel, sherry and strawberry quickly leave the scene and leave behind a full bodied mouth coating of oak and spice with warm medium ending.
Normally a cask strength whiskey can benefit from a drop of water, how ever I don’t think it brings much to the forefront for this whiskey, so stick to 55.3.%.
Without a doubt Jameson Bow Street 18 Cask Strength is a fantastic whiskey, the packaging re-brand is almost perfect, BUT (here comes the criticism) that new price tag is HIGH and the only reason I’m not splashing out. Yes I know its cask strength and released in small quantities, but does it warrant such a significant price jump? Not in my books. Are we mainly paying for fancy new packaging? Probably, along with that extra 15.3% ABV factored in.
However there could be a solution if you want to save a few extra pounds…
Irish Distillers upon releasing the cask strength also released the revamped 18 year old Jameson at 40% ABV with an RRP of £155, though still a £40 jump from its previous price.
Lastly, I was sent this sample of Jameson Bow Street 18 Cask Strength for review by Richmond and Towers on behalf of Irish Distillers.
Until next time, keep safe & keep drinking whiskey responsibly.
Over & out.
Jamie. Whiskey JAC