This is the latest Jameson release and the second in the Caskmates range. While only 2,000 or so bottles were initially released in September 2017, I believe there may be plans to introduce this full time as part of the Jameson portfolio. Having initially tasted this with the Cork Whiskey Society before release, I picked up a bottle to re taste and immediately returned and got another 5! It was that good! So before we look at the IPA edition…..where did Caskmates come from?
Our story starts back in 2012 at the Franciscan Well Brewery and pub in Sunday’s Well in Cork City. It was here that Dave Quinn, Midleton’s Master of Science meet for a pint with Shane Long, the founder and Brewer of the Franciscan Well and formed a plan to create a Franciscan Well Stout seasoned by Jameson casks. Midleton distillery sent over some used casks that had been emptied of Jameson, which were then filled with Stout. By Christmas 2012 Franciscan Well Jameson Stout was released and soon afterwards, the used casks were returned to Midleton where Dave Quinn took advantage of these casks which were now imparted with the taste and notes of Stout. The casks were filled with blended Jameson and left to mature for 6 months. The final result? A whiskey so good that it passed the high quality standards of Irish Distillers Limited (IDL) and in 2014 was bottled as Jameson Caskmates Stout edition. At the time it was released in early 2015 it was a 3,500 bottle batch and has since become so popular that it is now part of the IDL Jameson line up.
But our story doesn’t end there obviously. Being ever adventurous the Franciscan Well once again took possession of Jameson Casks and this time, filled it with their India Pale Ale (IPA). Once completed, these IPA seasoned casks returned to Midleton and once again the experiment continued with Jameson whiskey being filled into the casks and left to mature. The end result? A fantastically successful whiskey that retains Jameson’s signature smoothness, but oozes fresh citrus, with a touch of hops and floral notes. Both of these releases are a testament to IDL’s commitment to try bold new ideas and their willingness to work with other top notch producers such as the Fran Well. Dave Quinn stated “If it wasn’t for the curiosity, collaboration and conversations that took place that night and the expertise, passion and dedication that followed, we may have missed out on what has become a staple for innovation within the Jameson family”. I hope that the Jameson Caskmates IPA edition is becoming a staple of the Jameson family. It really is a treat.
Here are my tasting notes of the Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition. Remember, taste is subjective so if you were lucky enough to get a bottle, see what you can pick up as your tasting notes. And why not pick up a can of the Franciscan Well Chieftain IPA while you’re at it and try them side by side. They are “mates” after all.
Nose: Immediately you can get the hops. Floral and at the same time a nice fresh citrus zing to it.
Palate: Jameson’s smoothness is there. Hops and a light citrus note throughout with a spicy undertone.
Finish: Lovely lingering finish that leaves me tasting Satsuma Mandarin which I adore!