We're all used to beer finished in whiskey barrels. Craft brewers around the country have been releasing black barrel aged stouts and gin-finished sour ales for years now, taking a cue from distilleries in Ireland. These beers get an amazing depth of flavor from the barrel, increasing their value and making them more than just a standard beer. So is it really so surprising to learn that whiskey makers might be interested in soaking their fine liquors in beer barrels?
We've previously seen Jameson Caskmates Stout edition, which appeared on the scene in 2013. In those editions, the whiskey was finished in stout-seasoned casks. Jameson Whiskeyhas recently introduced an exciting new edition that IPA lovers will be super excited about! With Caskmates IPA edition, Jameson finishes the whiskey in IPA barrels. The combination of the smooth taste of Jameson Irish whiskey with the hoppy notes of craft IPA beer can't be beat!
IPA love started in the United States with super hoppy West Coast IPAs. They rapidly expanded to the East Coast with the newest, most popular hazy varieties. In general, these beers have one thing in common - they're bitter and crisp, with citrusy notes that leave the drinker feeling refreshed. Jameson Whiskey picked up on this, and this new Jameson original and special release is supposed to have an incredible mouthfeel with a subtle touch of IPA flavor.
IPAs might be the most famous of the craft beer categories, with breweries producing double IPAs and even triple varieties (that are very high in alcohol). Recently, they've even gone in the other direction, making low-alcohol session IPAs that are super easy to drink on a hot summer day. We've seen IPLs (India Pale Lagers), Red IPA, Belgium IPA, White IPA, and Black IPA. Basically, if you want to sell a beer, put IPA in the name and it seems like it becomes an overnight success!
Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition
Jameson is hoping to capitalize on those iconic flavors with its signature triple-distilled smoothness. They're filling proprietary charred oak whiskey barrels and before pumping them full with a local craft IPA. Once the barrels are completely infused with the hoppy goodness, they're drained. When Jameson receives the empty barrels, they re-fill them with whiskey. The naturally smooth whiskey picks up all those IPA flavors, giving it a crisp, hoppy finish.
While you might expect something similar to a porter flavor with cocoa beans and notes of milk chocolate, it's quite the opposite. This limited edition release has a super floral nose, thanks to the herbal hops and the grapefruit-like citrus notes. There are some wood shavings and a little nuttiness in the nose, thanks to that super seasoned barrel. The taste fills you with hops and sweet herbal notes, and some delicately spicy undertones on the finish. The lingering fresh fruit flavors will give way to barley-flavored grains. Green apples, yum!
How to Enjoy This Hoppy Whisky
What's the best way to enjoy the multitude of flavors in this hoppy whiskey? Jameson's recommendation is to enjoy it neat or on the rocks. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, pair it with your favorite IPA. Drinking it alongside craft beer will really bring out the citrus and hop notes from the whiskey.
I think you could also make some fun cocktails with the Caskmates IPA Edition. Think of flavors that will accentuate or counterbalance hoppy, citrusy flavors. The first thing that comes to mind is a whiskey screwdriver (with orange juice) or a fun twist on a classic Brown Derby (with grapefruit juice and honey).
You can find Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition (40% ABV/80 proof) at your local retailer nationwide. Most bottles should retail for $29.99 for a 750ml bottle. Internationally, the release will cover most of Europe, Australia, and even Japan. We can imagine that as much as Germany loves its beers, they'll gobble this up! Will a Jameson Caskmates edition with red wine be on the list to try next?
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