WHISKEY DREAMS – JAMESON 18 Year

Jameson 18 is a blended whiskey that is created from two pot-still whiskeys mixed with a portion of single grain whiskey. It’s initially aged in ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks, then moved to first-fill bourbon barrels before bottling.

Let’s start by saying that the last few weeks of my life have been completely nuts. There was a layoff, then a job offer, then a much better job. So a happy ending, but a crazy week.

How did I mourn friends and colleagues I will no longer get to work with and celebrate a new beginning at the same time? I went out and bought a bottle of this Jameson 18 Year.

The nose on this Jameson 18 Year is surprising. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. There is a pronounced ethanol/alcohol on the first sniff. It’s not quite a burn, and it doesn’t smack you in the face, but its there, and it does overpower some of the other more nuanced notes. Those nuanced notes are wood and spice and just a touch of malt and sherry. Overall I was quite surprised with how mellow the nose was. I was expecting more complexity, but it just wasn’t there. After about 15 minutes, the alcohol notes fell off and I did get a mix of honey with the malt.

The front of my tongue was honey, but the mid tongue and finish were all wood char and spice. I was honestly expecting a bit more smoothness and some butter cookies, which is what I associate with good Irish Whiskey, but the 18 Years spent in barrels clearly infused this with a lot of oak, char, and sherry. To me that finishes just a little rough.

I enjoyed this Jameson 18, but at the same time I have to take into account the price of this whiskey compared to its overall taste. I will drink this Jameson 18 every time you offer it to me – but it’s not making its way into my Whiskey Safe and I’m honestly not likely to buy another bottle.

Why?

The packaging is really cool. The wooden box and bottle packaging is top notch – but whenever there is this much quality on the packaging side I worry about what I’m really paying for. I’m guessing a decent part of the $140 I paid for this Jameson 18 went into the packaging. That means that this whiskey doesn’t quite stand up against some cheaper offerings.

Jameson Distiller’s Safe scored a 95/100 and is in the $70 range. Redbreast 12 is in a similar price point and scored a 96/100. Both are roughly half the price.

That price to value makes it hard to score Jameson 18 with a high score. To be honest, regular Jameson is only $25 at the “super store” across state lines and while its not super complex, it is smooth and easy to sip. How do you compare a $25 whiskey and a $140 whiskey? For me, the taste to value has to be a part of that, and that is where Jameson 18 falls apart. Both these whiskeys score an 80/100, and that means that I’m going to choose the cheaper option here every time.

Is Jameson 18 more complex then regular Jameson? Yes, 100 percent. But not $115 worth, and that is the crush of the issue. I enjoyed sipping this Jameson 18, but I can’t see myself buying another bottle at $140. The cost to value just isn’t there.

Pros

  • Does Jameson put out any bad products?
  • If this is a gift or someone else is buying your drams, who’s going to turn this down?
  • I had this whiskey on my bucket list, and now I can check it off.

Cons:

  • At $140 this is just too much as there are offerings at half the price that beat this hands down.
  • I recently found Redbreast 12 at $70 and at half the price I’d take that every time.
  • I had this whiskey on my bucket list, and now I can check it off – does that mean I’m one step closer to dying?
  • Scored the same as the $25 Jameson offering.
BottleScorePrice
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon96$65 / 750ml
Redbreast 12 Year96$80 / 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65 / 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Knappogue Castle 14 Year92$68 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tyrconnel 16 Year88$95 / 750ml
Powers Three Swallow87$38 / 750ml
Tyrconnel Single Malt87$49 / 750ml
Knappognue Castle 12 Year87$55 / 750ml
Green Spot86$75/ 750ml
Jameson Triple Triple85$45 / 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Uncle Nearest 185684$55 / 750ml
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Whiskey84$40 / 750ml
Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey84$30 / 750ml
Lambay Cognac Finish83$65 / 750ml
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition83$50 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year82$50 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Redwood Empire Pipe Dream Bourbon81$45 / 750ml
Jameson80$40 / 750ml
Don Julio 194280$160 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Monkey Shoulder79$35 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
West Cork77$30 / 750ml
Chestnut Farms Bourbon77$45 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Old Forester Statesman75$65 / 750ml
Slane74$33 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey74$45 / 750ml
Tullamore D.E.W 12 Year73$50 / 750ml
Bushmills 10 Year72$50 / 750ml
Clyde May's Original Alabama Style Whiskey72$33 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Redbreast Lustau 12 Year Old70$80/ 750ml
Mr. Whidkey70$22 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Tito's Vodka69$30 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew Crock69$40 / 750ml
Death's Door68$40 / 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Appleton Reserve Blend Jamaican Rum67$30 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
McConnell’s Irish Whisky66$25 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Paddy’s Irish Whiskey66$33 / 750ml
Kavanagh 16 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey66$50 / 750ml
Quiet Man Traditional65$40 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Wild Turkey63$35 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Writers Tears61$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon61$20 / 750ml
Maker's Mark60$25 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Fighting Cock58$18 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
The Sexton54$40 / 750ml
Fistful of Bourbon53$40 / 750ml
Kilbrin 10 Year Single Malt52$55 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Howler Head50$25 / 750ml
Agitator Kentucky Bourbon50$30 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Blade and Bow48$50 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
Teeling Single Malt43$65 / 750ml
GlenGoyne 12 Year42$75/ 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50 / 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Stranahan's Single Malt27$65 / 750ml
Egan’s Fortitude Irish Whiskey26$50 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Busker Single Malt4$34 / 750ml
Kavanagh Single Malt Irish Whiskey3$35 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90 / 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

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