Tag Archives: Jameson

Jameson Cooper’s Croze

Jameson The Cooper’s Croze Irish Whiskey
43% ABV
$70
Website
Coopers_Croze_800x850
What the Distillery Says:
Our 5th generation Head Cooper, Ger Buckley, knows everything there is to know about wood, casks, butts and barrels. To celebrate his passion for Coopering, we have created The Cooper’s Croze, the first of the Whiskey Makers Series to launch in the U.S. Focusing on the profound influence the wood yields on a whiskey’s character, The Cooper’s Croze uses virgin American oak, seasoned bourbon and Iberian sherry barrels.

The whiskey’s namesake – the croze – is named after Ger’s favorite tool, an implement used to make the groove into which the head of the cask or barrel is positioned.

Tasting Notes
This non chill filtered whiskey effortlessly carries the charred virgin oak character with vanilla sweetness from the seasoned bourbon barrels and rich fruit flavors and a fine balance of floral and spice notes from the sherry barrels.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Sweet vanilla cream and hints of sherry fruits.
Palate: Creamy, fruity, sweet, and grassy.
Finish: Light and mildly woody with lingering vanilla notes. It turns spicy and bitter late in the finish.
Comments: This is the first of the “Whiskey Maker’s Series” that I’ve seen in Atlanta. It’s clearly Jameson and a tasty Jameson but not anything exceptional up against Jameson’s regular line up. At $70 this is pretty pricey with not much payoff. Average retail prices but if it was in the $40 range it would stand out a bit more.
Rating: Average

Jameson Whiskey Tasting

Who says you have to wait until St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate Irish Whiskey? Mac McGee will be hosting Jameson Ambassador Hannah O’Leary for a tasting of fine Jameson whiskeys. The event will be held at Mac McGee Irish Pub, 111 Sycamore Street in Decatur, Georgia on Saturday, January 28th at 7:00 PM. You can RSVP at 404-377-8050. Further details are listed below:

Come down and join us for a tasting of one of the world’s top rated spirits, the distinctive Jameson Irish Whiskey. Jameson Ambassador Hannah O’Leary will be conducting the tasting on Jameson, Jameson 12 year old Special Reserve, Jameson Gold Reserve, and Jameson 18 year old Limited Reserve for $30. We will also be offering the unmistakable pot still Jameson Rarest Vintage for $15. Plus a new rare release! The tasting will be from 7pm-9pm. Slainte

No word yet but I’m thinking that new rare release may be Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel I mentioned back in October.

Drink wisely my friends,

Richard

Drinking in Charleston

One of the best things about Atlanta is how easy it is to get to great vacation destinations from here. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is arguable the busiest in the country and you can fly to almost anywhere from here. Another attraction is the central location in the south. I took advantage of this last weekend and drove over to Charleston, South Carolina with my wife and friends, Sam and Sandra.

My wife’s mother is from Charleston and our friends have been there many times, however it was my first visit. Charleston is a wonderful old southern town. It’s beautiful. The people are friendly. There are plenty of great things to see, do, and eat. We did all of those and packed as much fun into a three day weekend as we could. But what about drinking?

For a beer lover there’s plenty to enjoy. Irish pubs populate a number of streets in Charleston with good selections. The locally made Palmetto Amber is a nice one if you want to go local. Whiskey can be a bit more fickle. There are a lot of 4J bars around the city but there is hope. We found a few bastions of whiskey in the arid sea of beer and cocktails!

First, there are those with small but well chosen selections. These tended to be in the bars of restaurants. High Cotton on East Bay Street and Pearlz Oyster Bar jumped first to mind. Both have great food (High Cotton was hands down the best meal I had in Charleston) and they have a small but well selected whiskey menu.

Second, there is the multitude of Irish pubs all over Charleston. Most are big on beer, light on whiskey. When you go into Tommy Condon’s over on Church St. it looks much the same. However, the secret is to ask what they’ve got behind the bar. Tommy Condon’s has a very respectable selection of Irish whiskey but you can’t see it. It includes favorites from Powers, Paddy’s, Jameson, and even Redbreast. Just ask your server or bartender.

Lastly, if you want to seriously get your drink on there are only two places I found. There is Club Havana on Meeting St. and Husk on Queen St. Husk has a fantastic selection of bourbon, rye, and American whiskey but you will pay for it. They have far and away the highest markup on their liquor. You’ve been warned. For everything else there’s Club Havana. They have a very nice selection of scotch, bourbon, and rums at not astronomical prices. They sit above a Tinder Box and you can bring up the cigars you buy downstairs and smoke up in the bar and lounge. Colleen at the bar was a great bartender and if you want to adventure out beyond the whiskey, give their rum flight a try. It’s a really cool place I wish we had in Atlanta.

That’s my Charleston report. I had a great time and if you go you probably will too.

Drink wisely my friends,

Richard

Event Notice: Irish Whiskey at Mac McGee’s

The folks over at Mac MacGee’s have definitely opened up offering well beyond Irish whiskey. However, it’s good to seem them going back to their roots. They have two upcoming events focused on Irish whiskey. One is a tasting of Kellan Irish Whiskey and the other is a Jameson dinner. Here are the details.

Kellan Irish Whiskey Tasting
Place: Mac McGee Irish Pub111 Sycamore St Decatur, GA 30030
Time:Thursday, February 10 at 06:00 PM
Pour:Kellan Irish Whiskey
Price: I believe this is a product launch party. No price was provided with my details.
RSVP:404-377-8050

Jameson Whiskey Dinner
Place: Mac McGee Irish Pub111 Sycamore St Decatur, GA 30030
Time:Wednesday, February 23 at 07:30 PM
Menu:
1st: Drunken Goat Cheese Croquettes, Peppadew Puree -Jameson
2nd: Seared Diver Scallops, Spaghetti Squash, Sunchoke Chips, Brussels Sprout Leaves, Brown Butter Vinaigrette- Jameson Gold
3rd: Flat Iron Steak, Red Wine Reduction, Parsnip/Potato Puree, Watercress and Fried Caramelized Onion Salad- Jameson 12yr
4th: Deconstructed Blueberry Pie: Scone, Jameson Whipped Cream- Jameson 18yr
Price: $45
RSVP:404-377-8050

Whisky Fest NY ’09 Recap

Last night the Whisk(e)y Apostles re-united at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for the 12th Annual New York Whisky Fest.  Despite selling fewer tickets this year, it still seemed awfully crowded.  We ran into some friends, saw some from a distance, and I’m sure we missed others entirely.  We had a great time, but we hope you appreciate what hard work an event of this magnitude is for humble whisk(e)y writers such as ourselves.

The night started off with VIP hour.  For the first time, there were published special VIP only pours.  Before we just got to drink for an hour longer than everyone else.  When we saw that The Dalmore was pouring the King Alexander III during the VIP hour, we made a b-line for the table.  The King Alexander III is comprised of whiskies aged in six types of barrels.  The results is a very rich and complex whisky that far out shines the rest of the Dalmore line (more on that later).

Bushmills‘ VIP pour was the 1608, a very fine dram indeed.  However, both of us agreed that the 21yo to be superior (although Matt found it to be a slow opener).  It delivered a complexity of character previously unseen in the Bushmill’s single malts.

Not to buck the established whiskirati, but both of us found the new Wild Turkey Tradition to be superior to the recent American Spirit bottling (but Matt never really took to the American Spirit).

Next up was a lovely pour of Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve.  This was another high point of the VIP hour.  It started with a lovely nose and followed all the way through as an all around great Irish whiskey experience.  Highly recommended by both Apostles.

There were a few disappointments during the VIP hour.  Tullamore Dew’s 10yo single malt, Bunnahabhain’s 25yo, and the Kilbeggan 15yo all were not bad but didn’t grab us as particularly special, although the Kilbeggan’s nose was unlike any Irish we’d ever smelled.

We rounded out the VIP hour with a stop at Pierre Ferrand’s booth.  This was always Richard’s favorite cognac distiller but it was a new experience for Matt.  In addition to their great standard offerings they were pouring their 45yo Abel and 75yo Ancestrale bottlings during the first hour.  Both were magnificent to say the least.  Unfortunately, we fear that Matt is now ruined on cognac with a new affinity for these exceptional and very old Grand Champagne bottlings.  (And you thought all we drank was whisk(e)y!)

At the end of the VIP hour we tried to handled the overwhelming abundance of offerings with strategic planning but even for the experienced attendee Whisky Fest can be overwhelming.  We’ll take you through the high points by group.

Most of our bourbon time was spent with Woodford, Heaven Hill, and Buffalo Trace.  We got a nip of the new Master Distiller’s Seasoned Oak release from Woodford Reserve.  It was unanimous that the Seasoned Oak is far superior to the most recent two releases but still doesn’t hold a candle to Four Grain releases of years past.  Heaven Hill was offering the 27yo and Golden Anniversary bottlings of Parker’s Heritage Collection.  Both are very good but Matt found the Golden Anniversary more complex while Richard thought the 27yo was the better of the two.  Either way you really can’t go wrong.  We ended bourbon for the evening by thoroughly harassing the Buffalo Trace representative. Threats were issued and promises were made.  In the end there is a loose promise that we will see Buffalo Trace in Georgia by the end of next year. Richard finds it a travesty that Georgia is so close to Kentucky but can’t get any of Buffalo Trace’s standard release.  We haven’t formally reviewed it but it is a personal best buy for both Apostles.

Next we move to our neighbor to the north.  Seasoned readers of our site will know that we haven’t spoken too kindly regarding Canadian whiskies in the past.  We were fortunate enough to have a very candid discussion with John Hall of Forty Creek about the current state of the Canadian whisky industry.  He is great guy and always good to talk with.  During the discussion he poured the Double Barrel Reserve release of Forty Creek, which is very nice.  We also found out that there is the potential for a new release of the Port Wood that didn’t make it to the U.S. the last time it was made.  This time, according to Mr. Hall, it will make it to the US market.  We rounded out our Canadian experience by tried the Cask No. 16 from Crown Royal.  What can we say?  It was good!  This is just more proof that Limousin oak can make anything taste great.

As with most of these events, Scotch seemed to dominate the floor.  We were eager to try the new Dalmore range and were a little disappointed.  The Dalmore has been an Apostle favorite in the past.  The new line tasted flat.  However, we didn’t make it over there until later in the evening.  There is a great possibility that we were suffering from palate fatigue (not to mention the general distraction involved with these events).  We agreed that it would be best to try these again under calmer circumstances before making any definitive statements.

We had a long chat with John MacDonald of Inver House (distillery manager for Balblair) about great whisky and sexy packaging.  We started with AnCnoc, an interesting dram with the scent of a Speyside and the palate of a Highland.  The 16yo particularly stands out.  John’s baby, Balblair was poured as 1991 and 1997 vintages.  Both were really exceptional and will be in the states January of 2010.  When asked about a vintage model versus the age model, he said it was about quality.  After tasting, we could not argue about the quality.

Other highlights in Scottish whisky included as short visit with Dr. Whisky at the Balvenie table, where we tried the 17yo Madeira Cask.  This edition of the 17yo is a fine dram, a step up from last year’s Rum Cask, but still not as heavenly as the original Islay Cask.  The Springbank table gave us some very lovely 18yo Springbank and some very promising 5yo “work in progress” Kilkerran.  Ronnie Cox of The Glenrothes poured us some excellent whisky before being mobbed by Orthodox Jews.  To our palates, the Alba Reserve is superior to the Select Reserve and the 1985 vintage is just swell.  Perhaps the most colorful part of the night was the latest Compass Box offerings.  John Glaser has re-introduced The Spice Tree and Orangerie to the line.  The Spice Tree is going to once again be an Apostle favorite, while Mr. Glaser himself described the Orangerie as some “wacky shit.”  We couldn’t agree more.

After hearing all the hype about Amrut whisky (not to mention the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth involved in getting it to the US), the Apostles were eager to try this Indian single malt.  Matt had been taken in by the hype and was a little disappointed, while Richard’s ardent skepticism provided him with a pleasant surprise.  In general, the entire line is overly sweet and a little unbalanced, it might benefit from a higher proof.  The Fusion expression (a mixture of Indian barley and Scottish peated barley) is the most balanced and enjoyable of the line.

Finally, there were the American microdistillers,  There were more this year than ever before.  Finger Lakes Distilling in upstate New York brought Glen Thunder Corn Whiskey and McKenzie’s Rye.  Glen Thunder can best be described as liquid corn bread in both nose and palate.  McKenzie’s Rye is unlike any other American rye.  The palate is heavy with ginger bread without any of the sticky sweetness of modern ryes.  Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey continues to improve.  It is very much a beer drinker’s dram (very malty).  The much talked about High West Whiskeys brought their entire line.  All were good, but the Rendezvous Rye stands above the rest.  Lastly was Triple Eight Distillery’s Notch whiskey.  We were like “how good can whiskey from Nantucket be?”  The answer:  pretty darn good.  Made using their own bottle ready beer, it reminded us a little of Charbay Whiskey.  However, at $888, it makes Charbay look like a steal.

Whisky Fest was a great event again this year.  This is always a highlight of the U.S. whiskey calendar every year for twelve years running.  We would like to thank everyone involved in making Whisky Fest work.  The food was great and the atmosphere was friendlier than ever before.  Thanks especially to John Hansell and his entire staff at Malt Advocate for organizing this event.  We can’t wait until next year!

-Matt & Richard