Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

An atypical Irish H2H

Your tastes and our tastes are discussed here, so make sure you share your pleasures with us.

An atypical Irish H2H

Postby jimidrammer » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:11 am

Tonight, purely on a whim, I put 2 new Irish Whiskeys up against one another. While not particularly fair, one being a blend and the other a single malt, here's how it went:

--------------------------------------

Jameson 12yo “1780” Blended Irish Whiskey 40% abv

Color: New gold

Nose: Crisp, Christmas spice sweetness (nutmeg) metallic note (new penny), phenols

Palate: Overripe citrus (orange, tangerine, grapefruit), dry spice dominates the middle

Body: Rounded, oily

Finish: Copper pot still

Notes: Maybe this bottle will mellow considerably as it goes, because right now the spiciness smacks you around like a prize-fighter. I like a balanced spice note here and there, but it is so intense and brash about it that I can’t enjoy the rest of the profile. Some may like it for that, me, I would have to be in a special mood to appreciate.

Quote: Cayenne!

Score: 70

-----------------------------------------

Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey 40% abv

Color: Light gold

Nose: Polished leather, seaweed, mustard seed, wet grass, peat smoke, motor oil

Palate: Sweet, smoky, earthy, wood spices in the middle

Body: Firm, cutting, yet rounded

Finish: Dry, soothing, medium length

Note: The 40% abv slightly kills the palate’s potential. There are some contradicting flavors playing off each other that stay interesting. I can only imagine the differences between this, the 12yo, and the cask strength versions. I usually resist making direct comparisons, however at first nosing Ardbeg Ten came to mind immediately. Definitely my most favorite Irish whiskey, thus far.

Quote: Not just a cool name

Score: 90

-----------------------------------------

I'm sure I'll take to the Jameson as it breathes, but it wasn't fair to compare the two. The Connemara was every bit as good as I was hoping. Just so hit or miss to find. Anyone tried all three? They have a new distributor in the U.S. (Sazerac, I believe), so maybe they'll start showing up soon.
jimidrammer
Gold Member
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:00 am
Location: Arkansas, US

Postby Virginia Gentleman » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:27 am

I have tried all three Connemara's. The 12 is by far my favorite but just too expensive to buy except for a special occasion. I hope they increase production on that so the price will come down.
Virginia Gentleman
Silver Member
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:28 am
Location: United States

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:35 am

Perhaps not coincidentally, Connemara is the part of Ireland that looks most, in my mind, like the Scottish Highlands. Wish I had the time and money to go back.
Deactivated Member
 

Re: An atypical Irish H2H

Postby Aidan » Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:04 am

jimidrammer wrote:I usually resist making direct comparisons, however at first nosing Ardbeg Ten came to mind immediately. Definitely my most favorite Irish whiskey, thus far.

Quote: Not just a cool name

Score: 90


I think Ardbeg use some kind of rectifier in one of the stills that returns a fraction of the distillate to the body of the still. Cooley has some kind of cooling tube that does something similar. Maybe there's something in that... However, Ardbeg would have much more peat and iodine.

jimidrammer wrote:The Connemara was every bit as good as I was hoping. Just so hit or miss to find. Anyone tried all three? They have a new distributor in the U.S. (Sazerac, I believe), so maybe they'll start showing up soon.


I have tried all three. The 12 is better than the NAS, but not by light years. I've also had a single cask 13 year old, which was a little better again. Maybe my favorite is the cask strength.
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Postby bamber » Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:42 am

I've had all 3 and I also prefer the CS. However, I prefer the Jameson 12yo to the Connemara, so I guess it takes all sorts.

I took me a while to get my head around Jameson 12yo and pot still whiskies in general. Once I did, I found it to be a flavour that has really grown on me. I guess that is how some people are with Islays.

As good as Connemara is, to me it tastes like 'just another peated Scotch'. Jameson has a flavour, which is now uniquely only available from Midleton and for me should be celebrated.
User avatar
bamber
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Postby Aidan » Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:53 am

I also prefer the Jameson 12 to all of them, by the way, but it is a completely different animal, as Bamber says.
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:20 am

Connemara - A truly wonderful part of the world, although I believe the distillery producing it is over on the East coast and not actually in Connemara. But I am sure the more knowledegable on here will confirm or deny that, without me having to google.

Anyway, for those who haven't visited Connemara yet, or even those wishing to refresh memories:

http://www.whisky-emporium.com/Files/UKbody-Eire.htm

Just a few of my own images from the Green Isle!

Meanwhile, back to the subject in hand; Whenever we visit that part of the world, we go out of way to enjoy a dram or three of Connemara. It is very drinkable, very desirable and just the perfect after dinner dram and nightcap when sitting in Eldon's Hotel bar discussing the day just gone and the plans for tomorrow.

I do like Jameson's too, but for me, the peaty depths of Connemara are what I need when overlooking Roundstone Bay and harbour!

WH
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Aidan » Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:03 am

WhiskyHammer wrote:Connemara - A truly wonderful part of the world, although I believe the distillery producing it is over on the East coast and not actually in Connemara. But I am sure the more knowledegable on here will confirm or deny that, without me having to google.

Anyway, for those who haven't visited Connemara yet, or even those wishing to refresh memories:

http://www.whisky-emporium.com/Files/UKbody-Eire.htm

Just a few of my own images from the Green Isle!

Meanwhile, back to the subject in hand; Whenever we visit that part of the world, we go out of way to enjoy a dram or three of Connemara. It is very drinkable, very desirable and just the perfect after dinner dram and nightcap when sitting in Eldon's Hotel bar discussing the day just gone and the plans for tomorrow.

I do like Jameson's too, but for me, the peaty depths of Connemara are what I need when overlooking Roundstone Bay and harbour!

WH


Roundstone is a wonderful place. I got engaged around there in Ballinahinch Castle. Great place. Irishwhiskeychaser will know a lot about the place, no doubt, as he's from Galway.

It's a wild area that includes the tail end of the burren. Limestone rocks, lakes, mountains etc...

Connemara is made in Cooley in Co. Louth. Again, it's like a typical peated scotch in more ways than you think - It's called after an area rather than a distiller.
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Postby jimidrammer » Wed May 31, 2006 11:39 pm

I have made a complete turnaround about Jameson 12yo "1780" since I started this thread in April. It has sweetened and balanced out so well I ordered another bottle, if available, to replace it. While I never panned it in my notes, I think I may have come off as negative due to the hot, spicy start. Next time I open a bottle of this I'll know to let it rest at least a month, then dive in. I find it carves out a niche of style that none of my Single Malts could quite fill. The perfect summer dram? Could be a contender. Anybody know if the 15yo or 18yo are still available in the U.S. and worth looking into?
jimidrammer
Gold Member
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:00 am
Location: Arkansas, US

Postby lbacha » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:48 am

The 15 is great but it is a pure pot still so a little different than the 12 the 18 to me isn't that big of a difference from the 12 and not worth the price.

I have seen the 15 for sale in the US recently as well.

Len
lbacha
Gold Member
 
Posts: 626
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:14 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio USA

Postby Mr Fjeld » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:30 am

jimidrammer wrote:I have made a complete turnaround about Jameson 12yo "1780" since I started this thread in April. It has sweetened and balanced out so well I ordered another bottle, if available, to replace it. While I never panned it in my notes, I think I may have come off as negative due to the hot, spicy start. Next time I open a bottle of this I'll know to let it rest at least a month, then dive in. I find it carves out a niche of style that none of my Single Malts could quite fill. The perfect summer dram? Could be a contender. Anybody know if the 15yo or 18yo are still available in the U.S. and worth looking into?

Nice to see you finally got around to like the 12yo. I like it a lot, infact it's one of my absolute favourites - and that includes single malts as well. I also recently bought and tried the Redbreast 12 - now another favourite! I guess I've taken a liking to that type of irish whisky. Have you tried it?

Christian
Mr Fjeld
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 4249
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:08 pm

Postby Aidan » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:35 am

jimidrammer wrote:I have made a complete turnaround about Jameson 12yo "1780" since I started this thread in April. It has sweetened and balanced out so well I ordered another bottle, if available, to replace it. While I never panned it in my notes, I think I may have come off as negative due to the hot, spicy start. Next time I open a bottle of this I'll know to let it rest at least a month, then dive in. I find it carves out a niche of style that none of my Single Malts could quite fill. The perfect summer dram? Could be a contender. Anybody know if the 15yo or 18yo are still available in the U.S. and worth looking into?


I'm glad you liked the Jameson 12, as it's one of my favorites. That said, I haven't had any for a long time now. I think the 15 yr old is well worth getting. You can pick it up here and there in the U.S. for a great price.

The 18 yr old is similar in style to the 12 year old, but not worth the extra, in my opinion.
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:58 am

Connemara is a barren desolate but beautiful land scape and it's major resource is peat thus the connection. This place was so maligned that when Cromwell conquered Ireland he banished the local population 'To Hell or to Connaught' Implying anybody staying east of the shannon would be put to the sword.

The burren is a really interesting area with all it's limestone rock exposed covering hundereds of acres. A saying described it thus .... 'not enough water to drown a man, not enough trees to hang him & not enough earth to bury him'.

Connemara CS is my fav out of the Reg NAS, 12yo & CS.

Jameson 12 over 18 purely for value for money.

Redbreast 15 over Greenspot(circa 8-10yo) over Redbreast 12.

All the above are really great whiskies but Redbreast 15 would have to be described as world class.

It is only in the past 10 years or so that Potstills and peated single malts have been resurected in Ireland. The poststill very nearly totally died out as the peated irish whiskey had but all is reversed now.

This has been a goal of mine to get people to appreciate Irish Whiskey as a whiskey that can stand side by side with scotch whisky. Now scotch single malts are a wonderful creation and true they have the diversity that can't be beaten however Irish premium quality blends are as full flavoured and complex as SMS. Then we have pure potstills which are superb whiskies but as usual it is all down to personal taste. Still have work to do in the Single Malt market but we're getting there.


Irish Distillers unfortunately sold the world a view of Irish whiskey which for a 40year period was true and people thought the Irish whiskey heritage was all about light smooth tripple distilled whiskey. This is far from the truth. We had it all .... over 200 distilleries making blends, single malts, pure potstill, peated, non peated, double and tripple distilled whiskies. In the 18th, 19th and very early 20th century Irish whiskey was the most sought after brown spirit in the known world. Amazing to think it all went wrong. Ah well, that's life.
User avatar
irishwhiskeychaser
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:27 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland

Return to Whisky Tastings

Whisky gift and present finder