Jameson 12yo, 43%

If you’re very familiar with Jameson in it’s current form you’ll have noticed this is at 43% instead of the regular 40% at which they are bottled nowadays. I didn’t notice it since I don’t have a clue about these things.

This is, as that tells you, not a review of the regular 12 year old Jameson you can get nowadays for about € 50. This is much, MUCH older. This specific bottling is one from the 1960s, with distillate from the early 1950s.

This also means that this liquid is from the old Bow Street distillery in Dublin, instead of the gigantic whisky factory they’re using in Midlton since the early seventies!

I tried this specific whisky before during my Blog Birthday Bash this summer, in which it was one that hit us from an unexpected corner. Nobody saw this one coming. Of course, this is such a weird dram that it by no means means it’s automatically the best whisk(e)y of the evening. It was the most impressive though!

Luckily, my friend MZ gave me a sample to try this at home, in the relative peace and quiet of familiar surroundings, and without other booze and barbecue messing up my palate.

The nose is quite funky to begin with. There’s a hint of rancid butter, with some plastic and another (harder to pin down) chemical scent. Some oak and grains too. Quite some OBE, even though this sample has sat around for a while. Luckily there’s some redeeming scents of forest floor and autumn leaves.

The palate is a bit more intense than the nose, and a bit drier too. More peppery hints, and some apple as well. After that there’s oak, grains and a whiff of wood spices.

The finish is slightly more green. Fresher leaves, wetter barley. Still, the hint of plastic and a chemical sweetness is present still. Some crisp and dry hints too.

What I find most interesting is that the same hint of chemical sweetness (winegums in a plastic bag) is present here, as well as in the Power’s from last week. That seems to be a theme in the days of declining popularity of Irish whiskey.

This one is best on the finish. The nose is a bit weird and although the descriptors would make me run in the other direction, it’s quite interesting. Not necessarily kick-ass though. The finish does make up for that and the palate is far from bad as well. So, it’s a very interesting whisky and it does, like the Power’s, give us a look into the old Irish whiskey world.

I would never spend the asking price on a bottle of this, however. Apparently shop prices are over € 700 for a bottle of this stuff, and while truly interesting and unique, that’s just too much.


Jameson 12yo, mid-sixties bottling, 43%


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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