Category Archives: Taste of the…

Jameson 18 Year

Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve
43% ABV/86 Proof
$85 to $95
Widely available in limited quantities

What the Distillery Says:
A true original, Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve is an exceptionally balanced whiskey and is the elder statesman of the Jameson Family. Its mellow, complex taste and lingering finale of wood, spice and toffee have been deftly created by the Master Blender; his hand-picked selection of no fewer than three exquisitely poised whiskeys serving as the light, shade and foreground used to craft this unique blend.

Dutifully matured for no less than 18 years in a combination of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks, it’s given a final finish in fresh fill American bourbon barrels. Since its debut in 2002, stocks of Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve have been, as its name suggests, limited. So any opportunity to enjoy this connoisseurs’ choice whiskey, in its individually numbered bottles, should be savoured.

Nose – Aromatic oils with a touch of wood, spicy toffee.
Palate – Wonderfully mellow and smooth, a mouthful of complex flavours – fudge, toffee, spice, hints of wood and leather, vanilla and a gentle sherry nuttiness.
Finish – A long, lingering finish carries the theme of the wood, spice and toffee right through to the end.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Honey, fresh grass, and sherry notes. After letting it sit I find it a bit oily with a buttery sweetness.
Palate: Very rich and slightly oily. Spice, vanilla, and delicate oak.
Finish: Slow and soothing. A little spicy with some of that buttery sweetness from the nose.
Comments: Jameson doesn’t monkey around too much with their range from expression to expression. By that I mean it’s easy to connect them and find an overall Jameson profile. That’s comforting and refreshing with the explosion of small runs and new finishes that while good, can sometimes mask the true nature of the whiskey. This particular express is insanely drinkable stuff. You really need to try it.
Rating: Must Try

What Matt Says:
Matt has not had a chance to review this whiskey yet.

Canadian Club Reserve

Canadian Club Reserve Aged 10 Years
40% ABV/80 Proof
Widely available

What the Distillery Says:
Our CC Reserve is for those who appreciate the deeper oak notes that come with maturity of 10 long years in our white oak barrels. It is a whisky of exceptional character and richness.

Color: Bronze gold
Aroma: Toffee and toasted, creamy and complex
Body: Full and firm
Taste: English toffee, rich, mellow oak with soft nutmeg and clove
Finish: Warm and lingering dry finish
Awards: Gold, 2007 and 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

What Richard Says:
Nose: I get a little dried grain but I really have to work at it. It’s very subdued and hard to get much off of the the nose on this one.
Palate: Overall it’s VERY mellow. I’m finding a slightly bitter note with a some apples.
Finish: A short, dry, and slightly spicy finish.
Comments: This is a big step forward from standard Canadian Club. All the unpleasant notes are gone and it leaves a very mild whisky. It’s almost too mild for straight drinking because the flavor components can be very shy. It’s very drinkable, I just tend to like a little more flavor in my whisky because I’m more of a straight drinker. This is probably best in your favorite cocktail. Conveniently enough, we were provided with a couple of tasty cocktail suggestions. 😉
Rating: Average

What Matt Says:
Matt has not had a chance to try this whisky yet.

We want to thank Ms Murphy with SHIFT Communications for sending us a bottle to review. She was also kind enough to provide us with a couple of serving suggestions.

Canadian Club Sour
Fill rocks glass with ice
Add 1.5 parts Canadian Club Reserve 10 Year
Juice of half lemon
Teaspoon of sugar
Garnish with a Maraschino cherry or lemon wedge

CC Reserve Manhattan
1 part Canadian Club Reserve 10 Year
1/3 part Sweet Vermouth
Dash Angostura bitters
Maraschino Cherry

Jameson Gold Reserve

Jameson Gold Reserve Irish Whiskey
40% ABV/80 Proof
$55 to $65
Widely available

What the Distillery Says:
Up until recently Jameson Gold Reserve has been the elusive family member that could only be found in airport shopping outlets. Since its creation in 1996, Jameson Gold Reserve – a marvelously rich pot still character whiskey – has been the toast of whiskey critics. Such praise is rare, as indeed was the whiskey itself. Jameson Gold can now be found worldwide but is still as precious as ever.

Jameson Gold Reserve is a creative blend of three whiskeys of advanced years, one of which is uniquely matured in virgin oak barrels. It’s the inspired choice of this virgin oak, coupled with the bourbon barrels and sherry casks, that account for the whiskey’s satisfying complexity and honey toasted sweetness.

Nose: Fragrant wood, rich pot still with a touch of sherry sweetness.
Taste: All the creaminess and honey sweetness come together to create a taste sensation of spicy character.
Finish: A very long finish with a pleasantly peppery finale.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Herbal and grassy but very mellow. There are really just hints of a nose to the whiskey.
Palate: Initially it’s sweet with a mild oak flavor. With time it develops into cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla. It really kind of reminds me of snickerdoodle cookies.
Finish: Woody with a surprising heat, very surprising given the proof.
Comments: This definitely stands out among the crowd of Irish blends. However, to me it’s more of a different take of Jameson rather than a bridge between the 12 Year and the 18 Year. I personally prefer the 12 year Old Special Reserve over the Gold Reserve. I don’t find any reason to pay the extra $10 to $20 more unless you just want a little different take of Jameson.
Rating: Stands Out

What Matt Says:
Matt has not had a chance to review this whiskey yet.

Collingwood Canadian Whisky

Collingwood Toasted Maplewood Mellowed Hand-Crafted Blended Canadian Whisky
40% ABV/80 Proof
Initially in FL, KY, LA, and TX. More markets later in 2011

What the Distillery Says:
Aged in white oak barrels & finished with toasted maplewood mellowing, some call Collingwood the smoothest whisky ever made. We invite you to judge for yourself.

Aroma: graham cracker sweetness with delicate notes of vanilla, caramel and butterscotch underpinned by a rich floral (rose petal) and fruit character.
Taste: creamy with a prickly vibrancy that fades into a delicate marzipan dusted grain notes. Faint hints of maple syrup drift about. Nice complexity.
Finish: warm, sweet and long with a lingering floral and light malt whisky character.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Malty like a porter or scotch ale with a slightly sweetness reminiscent of cherry lifesavers.
Palate: Cherry, vanilla, and dark fruits. All in very large quantities.
Finish: Smooth and mellow. Jack Daniels with a spicy rye kick at the very end.
Comments: This is an interesting bottle for sure. It’s made by Canadian Mist in their Collingwood Distillery (hence the name) but it’s not just Canadian Mist that’s been mellowed. It’s a new direction for sure. They take the finished mature whisky and then put it in vats with toasted (not charred) maple staves to further mellow the whisky. It’s incredibly smooth. The smoothness is similar to Jack Daniels (both are Brown-Forman products) but with more flavor. I actually don’t have a good “whiskey memory” in that I can’t taste something and say it reminds me of a dram I had a year or some ago. For that kind of comparison I need the two side by side. However, this particular dram really reminds me of Mitcher’s American Blended Whiskey. It has a lot of the same flavors. My wife loves it and the Mitcher’s is one of her personal favorites. I’m not sure this is my cup of tea and I probably wouldn’t buy it for myself but it definitely stands out among Canadians.
Rating: Stands Out

What Matt Says:

Matt has not had a chance to review this whisky yet.

Thank you to the folks at Brown-Forman for providing us with a bottle for review.

Jameson 12 Year Old

Jameson Special Reserve 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
40% ABV
$40 to $50
Widely Available

What the Distillery Says:
Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve, with its full-bodied flavour, is like a friendly handshake welcoming you into the world of aged whiskeys. With its pot still whiskeys infused with sherry casks, it’s the best known and most popular of the aged Jameson whiskeys. Exuding great character, its complex yet superbly mellow flavours of toasted wood, spice and sherry and its exquisite taste are a celebration of the enduring heritage of great Jameson whiskeys which began in 1780.

NOSE – Warm, spicy, assertively complex.
TASTE – Sherry richness, nutty flavour, mild woody undertones.
FINISH – Rich and lasting.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Light like fresh grass with fruity notes and a bit of char.
Palate: Creamy and malty with honey and cereal grains coming through. You definitely pick up the sherry casks. The more time you spend with this the sweeter and creamier it gets.
Finish: More oak and wood than on the nose or the palate. A little spice at the tail end of the finish.
Comments: If you like Jameson then kick it up a notch and give this a try. If Jameson is a little too bland for you, still give it a try. There’s a lot more flavor here that may just appeal to you.
Rating: Stands Out

What Matt Says:
Matt has not had a chance to review this whiskey yet.