Aged: 18 years
Product of: Ireland (Eire)
Launched in 2002 and then relaunched in June 2022 at a higher strength, Jameson 18 is blended from a combination of single pot still and grain whiskies aged a minimum of 18 years in bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. It is finished in first-fill bourbon barrels for at least 6 months.
The single pot still whiskies in Jameson 18 year old are what the blenders at Midleton Distillery refer to as LMP and an MMP. These are aged mainly in refill ex-bourbon barrels with little or no first-fill bourbon and a small number of first-fill sherry seasoned butts. This combination of pot still whiskies are blended with the all-important grain whiskey and the blend put back into first-fill bourbon barrels to continue aging for a further six months. As the name suggests, at this stage all the whiskies are at least 18 year old. The blenders assess each cask at the crucial six-month finishing stage to access how the first-fill bourbon oak has contributed to the whiskey. If it's what they are looking for then it will go forward for bottling.
Billy Leighton, Jameson's Master Blender waxes lyrical about Jameson 18 Year Old, "What we do with this, it's effectively a bourbon finish with that initial flush of the ex-bourbon wood coming into the product just at the last point of its maturation. We capture it there, before its affect mellows. What we're doing with the 18 year old is seizing the moment, capturing it, and that delivers an amazingly complex whiskey. Simple on the first sip but hold it in your mouth and all these elements become very apparent and at the end of the day you get a real mouthful of flavour and everything is working together and everything is in harmony. There is a lot going on and once you let that slip over then you get, as the finish proceeds, pot still spicy notes coming through. But what I love at the end of the Jameson 18 year old is the real succulent barley cereal note which to me is what the whisky is all about."
Bottled without chill-filtration, each bottle is individually numbered as proof of its 'limited' availability.
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 25/07/2022
Bourbon, vintage cider apple, new saddle leather, biscuit, dried pineapple, pencil shavings, turmeric and cinnamon.
A spiced start with biscuit, corn, salt, dried pineapple, leather, vanilla, dry oak, cider and gentle sherry hazelnut nuttiness.
Woody, nutty finish with light spice and more dried pineapple.
This new Jameson 46% alc./vol 18-year-old is a tad woodier when compared to the previous 40% alc./vol. bottling. Brassy metallic tropical fruit and sherried woody nuttiness have been replaced by salty dried pineapple hazelnut oak.