UK release for Jameson finished in stout-seasoned barrels

Jameson Caskmasters irish whiskey

A new limited-edition expression of Irish whiskey Jameson has been released that has been finished in casks formerly used for stout.

Released in the UK through Pernod Ricard UK, Jameson Caskmates was developed by the Midleton Distillery, where Jameson is produced, with Irish microbrewer Franciscan Well Brewery.

It came about after a chance meeting between master distiller Brian Nation, master of whiskey science Dave Quinn, and Franciscan Well’s head brewer Shane Long in a Cork bar.

The meeting led to some Jameson casks being loaned to the brewery to discover their influence on Irish stout and then for the stout-seasoned barrels to be returned to the Midleton Distillery, where they were re-filled with Jameson whiskey.

Jameson Caskmates features notes of coffee, cocoa, butterscotch and gentle hints of hops. After a successful trial in Ireland last year, the limited edition is coming to the UK for the first time in October in the on-trade and selected off-trade accounts with a recommended retail price of £26.

Dave said: “When the stout-seasoned Jameson barrels arrived back at Midleton Distillery from Franciscan Well Brewery, curiosity got the better of us and we experimented by maturing our Jameson Irish whiskey in the casks.

“We found that after around six months, the perfect balance of flavour was achieved and we couldn’t be happier with the results. We are thrilled that the rest of the world is getting the chance to enjoy this Irish gem.”

The release is set to tap into the existing consumer appetite for craft beer and whiskey, as it fuses the two categories and showcases exceptional versatility. It can be served neat, on the rocks, as a beer pairing and in beer cocktails.

Vicky Hoey, head of marketing at Pernod Ricard UK, said: “For the first time ever, Jameson and stout come together to create an expression that really represents Jameson’s reputation for passion and heritage, and features Irish craftsmanship, collaboration and innovation.

“With Jameson Caskmates, we hope to surprise and delight existing Jameson drinkers by providing them with an authentic, new whiskey experience, as well as recruit craft beer fans to the Irish whiskey category.”

Tasting Notes by master distiller Brian Nation
Nose: The initial aroma of freshly mown hay is complemented by a crisp orchard fruit character, green apples and pears along with a twist of lime zest. Mild pot still spices appear, deepening from green tea to hazelnut and milk chocolate. The lingering hop influence combines effortlessly with toasted oak and barley grains to form a solid base.
Taste: As expected, there is the initial sweet mouth coating typical of the single pot still Irish whiskey inclusion. Then the effect of the beer cask finish becomes apparent with the subtle touch of hops and cocoa beans. Some marzipan and charred oak add to the complexity.
Finish: Long and sweet with milk chocolate and butterscotch.

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