Tuesday, 7 November 2017

It Had to Happen

While walking out the other day, I noticed this advert for Jameson Irish Whiskey, which caused me to pause and take the photograph.

Since when did craft beer become such a thing that you'd want to flavour your whiskey with it? Is there now an hitherto untapped source of revenue from all those casks being stored in various microbreweries once they have been emptied and sold at top dollar? Has it all turned full circle as barrels that started out in distilleries find their way back there by a somewhat circuitous route?  Is there a single "craft beer" flavour that is sought?  In this case it is a stout cask that will provide the additional flavour, but are there others? What would and wouldn't work? Certainly not a metal keg. How did they get enough wood conditioned stout barrels? And lastly, who is this whiskey aimed at?  Is it just a gimmick?

Seems surprising and a bit odd to me. Anyone else?

A quick Google indicates the stout barrels came from Franciscan Well Brewery. It will cost you £27 at Tesco. Twice "ordinary" Jameson. 

Apparently it adds "notes of cocoa, coffee and butterscotch to this classic Irish whiskey."


The Beer Nut said...

This has been around for a few years; I guess it's just landing in the UK mass market now. They did one with Beavertown in 2015 but it mustn't have made it as far as outdoor advertising. Young Henry's in Oz and KelSo in the States have also contributed barrels to other Caskmates editions, red ale and pale ale respectively. The latest over here is another Franciscan Well one, this time in a barrel previously used for an IPA.

What interests me most is that every other collaborating brewery has their name and logo on the branding but for some reason Molson Coors have refused permission to directly associate it with Franciscan Well.

For what it's worth, the original stout Caskmates is rather nice: I did get a lacing of stouty chocolate in with the whiskey. The IPA one is less impressive, as might be expected.

m.lawrenson said...

I bought a bottle of this when it came out a few months back. Had more taste than regular Jameson's, though couldn't discern any stout flavours.

Alan Winfield said...

I think i will stick to proper single malt whiskys,like Balvenie Double Wood.
I dread to think what a whisky would taste like if it used an ex barrel of Verdant Some Fifty Summers.

Curmudgeon said...

You'd be doing well to get a bottle of "ordinary" Jameson for £13.50 - more like £20.

Tandleman said...

Wonder where I got that from? Ah. That's for a half bottle.

Anonymous said...

Grants have done an ale cask reserve for about ten years, I think. It tastes...slightly beery.

Professor Pie- Tin said...

It's bollocks,of course.
If I want a beer-flavoured spirit or vice-versa I just combine the two in a glass at the point of sale.
You also have to question the authenticity of some of these products as well - presumably the makers can do what I do but at the bottling stage without all the spurious time-consuming ageing.

Stono said...

its very nice as a whiskey drunk neat IMO, Jamesons is pretty smooth anyway not as harsh as some of the Highland whiskies can be, but this is actually smoother, very drinkable,and you definitely get the taste difference if you try them back to back, though maybe not quite the promised hop notes, but I tried it when I popped over to Dublin earlier in the year and popped in the distillery, who sell Fransican beers as well, often with whiskey chasers, and picked up a bottle from duty free on the way back.

The setup I believe from what I was told, is Fransican Wells took the oak barrels from Jameson, who originally get them from Jack Daniels, to make their Whiskey infused stout, and then Jamesons thought well why not then, when they got them back, put whiskey in it again, and Caskmates is the result, and why not, its at least not an Innis Guns Oak "aged" process.

The Beer Nut said...

and popped in the distillery
*Museum. The distillery is in Cork.

qq said...

Glenfiddich did an IPA-barrel whisky last year, yours for ~£45 online :


(warning, contains potentially disturbing images of Gok Wan's tartan hipster cousin)