Malt Advocate Whisky Awards “Irish Whiskey of the Year”: Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve (2009 release)
Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve (2009 release), 46%, $250
The Midleton Distillery, where Jameson is made, has proven that it can make wonderful whiskeys of great diversity. Jameson Gold, Jameson 18 year old, Redbreast 12 year old, and Power’s 12 year old are just a few of them.
Late in 2007, the distillery introduced Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve (which didn’t get into circulation in the U.S. until 2008). The combination of aging some whiskey in port casks, including some older whiskeys (over 20 years old), and bottling—without chill-filtering—at 46% ABV has helped make Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve rich, deep, and complex.
A 2009 vintage was released toward the end of the 2009 calendar year. (The 2008 vintage was never brought into the U.S.) How does it stack up to the 2007 release, our award winner last year? I like the 2009 vintage even better! If anything, it’s richer and lusher than the 2007 vintage.
It’s rich, silky, and oily in texture. You’ll discover extremely well-integrated flavors loaded with fruits, ripe berries, caramelized banana, nougat, date nut bread, glazed tangerine, and maple syrup, peppered with warming cinnamon, vanilla icing, and nutmeg. A firm, dry, resinous finish balances the sweetness. I love the pot still character and the lushness that some of the port-wood aging has imparted. This is another classic Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve.
Tomorrow’s Malt Advocate Whisky Award annoucement: Scotch Whisky Blend of the Year.