#334 • Jameson Select Reserve

40% alc./vol.
Irish Distillers Distillery, Cork, Ireland

It's been ages since I've visited a glass of the world's best-selling Irish whiskey.

The Jameson Select Reserve, also sometimes called the Black Barrel, behind closed doors, is a special edition resulting from the marriage of Irish Pot Still Whiskey and grain whiskeys made in small batches. It is then aged in ex-bourbon casks charred twice.

Founded in 1780 by John Jameson, the distillery today belongs to the French group Pernod Ricard, which sells more than 31 million bottles of Jameson annually.

As the American businessman and founder of the canned baking empire that bears his name so aptly put it, Charles Alfred Pillsbury (1842-1899) said so well:

Money can not buy happiness. He who has ten million dollars is no happier than he who has nine million.

Nose:
Nice accents that do not lie about its Irish origin, but generally almost tasteless, on faint notes of vanilla and fruits that just do not want to break through. Barley background not to be neglected.

Taste:
As tasteless. Fruity and malty, though oily, but without much success.

Finish:
Short and easy to forget. Some notes of fruits in the distance.

Balance:
Really disappointing. By “Select Reserve,” did they mean the reserve selected for a trip to the sink? No, it's the stroke of emotion, in fact it's not that bad. Even though the representative who served me in Toronto didn't seem to like his job too much, that didn't stop me from buying a bottle of it when I got to Quebec.

Note: ★★★★★

#155 • Greenore 18 years old

46% alc./vol.
Cooley Distillery, Riverstown, Ireland

Last night, the Morrin Center had put on its most festive Christmas decorations to welcome the first whiskey of the first tasting of December Scotch Whiskey Club of Quebec. I speak here of a rare Irish expression, thanks to François for having found it for us in California, the Greenore 18 years.

Made at the distillery Cooleywhich also produces the Kilbeggan and Tyrconnell, Greenore is a particular whiskey in that it is composed of more corn than barley, distilled in column stills and aged exclusively in ex-bourbon barrels.

Their basic expression is eight years of maturation, but the 18 years that we are tasting here is quite superior. With a limited edition of 4000 bottles, it is quite normal that we have a hard time finding it. It is not cold filtered and hits us with a good 46% alcohol.

As the German physicist and Nobel laureate Werner Heisenberg said so well:

If the grass is always greener in your neighbor's garden, let him piss off mowing it ...

The light shows us a pale, dry coloring, almost like burnt grass.

Nose:
Fruits and costarde come to pick us up first, to continue with a typical Irish nose of gingerbread and brown sugar.

Taste:
Sweet and honeyed, ample and generous. We pass the fruits of the festive cake with salted caramel, honey and sugar cane.

Finish:
Stay warm and long, fruity and spicy, like a Christmas album under the duvet the last Sunday morning before the 25.

Balance:
Excellent Irish whiskey. I just don't know if the price and the rarity are worth it. But hey, like all Irish whiskeys remind me of Christmas, I'm just missing a good old CD of James Last to be totally in the mood.

Note: ★ ★ ★ ★