Ok, full disclosure.
I like a good boilermaker.
Ever since I got word about Jameson’s Caskmates series, a mild excitement welled up in me.
A justified one as their collaboration with local stalwarts Young Henrys was a delightful thing of beauty when it comes to hoppy influenced whiskies and whiskey infused beers.
The underlying idea is straight forward and based on an exchange of barrels between breweries and distilleries.
What on paper might sound straight forward – it is much more than a mere “beer with a shot” - is a complex affair that indicates the amount of calibration Jameson’s head distiller Brian Nation has invested in the creation.
Their most recent IPA Caskmates edition adds another layer of complexity to their game: A warmer and darker shade makes your acquaintance with a subtly aromatic nose, which rests on a solid bed of hops and oak.
Chewy and creamy, it serenades your palate and takes a surprisingly spicy detour that culminates in a beautiful sweet lingering fruity, smooooth finish.
As with previous Caskmates expressions, it is more-ish, easily drinkable and, if you are an IPA – and more importantly an Irish Pale Ale - aficionado, it is hard to go past it.
I specifically savour the citrusy notes the IPA left and, what I love most about a great IPA – hints of pine needles, which in this case via the marriage with Jameson result in dark chocolatey notes. Delicious.
What Jameson created is an utterly enjoyable liquid emission with an on-point flavour profile that leaves one lusting for more and with a very affordable price point, there is hardly any reason why your distinguished shelf should not be graced with a bottle or two.
Now, not a distillery to release a new expression quietly, Jameson did not merely host a launch event but a dedicated festival catering all things whiskey, beer and live music.
We were lucky to take in the festivities in Sydney, where apart from local independent bands, e.g. The Delta Riggs and The Gooch Palms, whiskey tastings were hosted by Jameson’s head distiller par excellence Brian Nation, live barrel charring was demonstrated with the Jameson Master Distiller and Master Cooper, sustenance was provided by locals Frankie’s Pizza and Continental Deli.
The halls of Sydney’s Commune provided a suitable ambience and was turned into “JJ’s Place” for a joyous festival that proved to be not only fit for the IPA Caskmates release and a celebration of Jameson as the prime distillery it is but would have fit in with any other serious music festival.
Photos by @k.a.vv
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