We previously reviewed the ubiquitous Jameson Original a few years ago and now it’s the turn of it’s big brother

As the name suggests, this Distillery Reserve was bought from the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin when we did a tour a few years ago.

The tour isn’t bad though not necessarily one for the whisk(e)y geek since as a ‘museum tour’ it focused more on the comparisons between Irish, Scotch and American Whiskey rather than the specifics of the production process.

The Distillery Reserve expression is ‘exclusive’ to distillery visitors, though I’ve also seen that it’s available online. I’m looking forward to seeing what the extra ageing brings to the flavour, though disappointingly it’s still only bottled at 40%.

Nose

Barley sugar, cereal. A little icing sugar and light caramel.

Palate

Fairly rich mouthfeel. Initially very creamy and sweet with buttery toffee notes.

Cooked apples and pear orchard fruits make an appearance and just a hint of raisin dried fruit sweetness.

Drier, bitter notes are next – soft lemon zest with cinnamon and dried ginger spice.

Finish

There’s a strong astringency toward the finish with the spice and bitter notes concentrating and giving quite a tobacco leathery dryness. Right at the end however this subsides and that apple butter toffee note makes a grand finale.

A delicious Werther’s Original note carries through the medium length finish.

Overall

This Jameson Distillery Reserve 12 Year Old is undoubtedly a huge step up in flavour from the Original.

It would still seem to be created favouring ‘smoothness’ over complexity, but there is enough going on in the spirit to make it interesting as a neat drink.

If I’m back over in Dublin and passing the distillery I think I’ll be restocking – hopefully that says it all!

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