Tag Archives: Irish whiskey

Jameson Caskmates & Brussels’ Beerstorm

Whiskey and beer: a grand combination! Of course it had to be two Irish men who, while having a shot and a brew, decided to perfect this old combo. What would happen if you age Jameson in beer casks, specifically stout beer?  Answer: a miracle! What happens if you bring this miracle to Belgium? Answer: an epiphany! In Brussels there's an organisation called Beerstorming who are willing and capable of brewing any beer you can imagine. Together with the folks from Jameson they made a fantastic fruity sour brew, barrel aged in Jameson casks.

Three Irishmen walk into a pub… this is not a joke, it’s an everyday reality, especially in Cork. Only these three were no ordinary Irish, it was the whiskey wizard Dave Quinn and Jameson Master Distiller Brian Nation who met Shane Long, Master Brewer of Franciscan Well. The latter was curious to know what would happen when his stout beer was barrel aged in Jameson casks. Admit it, you would want to know this as well. It is after all an excellent idea. After sufficient experimentation Shane Long was a happy, albeit a little bit tipsy, man. Smiling he returned the casks to the Jameson distillery. And it was there that Brian and Dave saw the light at the end of the rainbow and bitchslapped the leprechaun hiding underneath. What they did was refilling the stout washed casks with Jameson. This was the birth of the Caskmates.

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The Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition is amazing. It’s a perfectly balanced marriage between the soft, mellow, rounded Jameson and the bolder bitter notes of the stout. It finishes with caramel, cacao and hints of coffee. It’s a marvellous combination of my two favourite Irish beverage categories.

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Beerstorming in Brussels

Beerstorming needs very little explanation, it’s brainstorming on beers. Let’s say you woke up one day and had a brilliant idea for a new beer. Well then, you just waltz into their fine micro-brewery, declare your idea and they brew it. Afterwards you’ll have a beerstorm where a panel of friends and experts taste a few beer-ideas, including yours. Out of the discussion that follows you can finetune your brew or it might happen that an entirely new beer comes into existence. Beerstorming is great fun, unless you hate beer of course.

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Aaaand…shazaaam! A barrel! How about that, d’you like it? York, Arthur and Ger Buckley “Head Cooper” from Jameson.

Now the people from Jameson and Yorick Yosh & Arthur Ries from Beerstorming decided to meet up in Ireland (in a pub probably) and discuss beer, barrels and whiskey, the result is called: The Brussels’ Share.

The Brussels’ Share is a fresh flavour explosion in your mouth. Rather complex, there’s a lot going on in your mouth when you taste it. There’s grain, hoppy bitternes, apricot fruit, sour and then there’s something like a hidden trapdoor where a vague, fleeting hint of caramel is detected. Brewed according to the sour beer tradition from Brussels this is very nice Bacchus’ blood!

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

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Have a Teeling Irish Whiskey on St. Paddy’s Day

There's a thing about Irish whiskey that makes it very...well, Irish actually and because of that definitely a distinct category within the whisky sphere. It was once much more popular than Scottish whisky and it's doing its best to reclaim the title. Teeling Whiskey is relatively new on the field here, but in less than three years it made sure that it's in the vanguard of this Irish comeback. So 17th of March, have some of this and remember: "everyone's Irish tonight!"

Irish whiskey was the first whiskey we ever tasted and as a young lad we fell madly in love, especially with Tyrconnell whiskey. Irish whiskey is very Irish and by that we mean it’s apart, it’s different, it’s special, fuelled with emotion, both harsh and mellow at the same time. Our favourite Irish philosopher has a great description of what Irish people are often seen as, but definitely are not: “We’re not the twinkly eyed f***ers with a pig under our arm who say they will paint your house, but might steal the ladder! That’s only half true!”

Irish comedian Dylan Moran about the Scottish, English and Irish

That poetry and emotion is what makes Irish people in our mind’s eye. And their soul is in their drink. Now back to Teeling. It’s a very young distillery, only a couple years old, putting itself at the forefront of the Dublin Distillery revival and showing it’s serious about this by bearing a phoenix rising from a flaming potstill in its logo.

We received a bottle of the Teeling, Small Batch Whiskey and at first we didn’t quite know what to think of it, but after a few sips we knew: it’s Irish! It’s different, both harsh and sweet, mellow at the same time. Teeling really toys with your tongue here: rum, whiskey, whiskey, rum, what’s going on here? After close examination of the bottle we quickly understood: it has a 6 months finish on rum barrels. A daring (very Irish) move! But it works, I think, at least for me. Bottled at 46% abv, non chill filtered and finished on rum casks this drink both kicks and kisses you at the same time. It has both vanilla, chocolate and grassy, lemony things in it. We like it, it has a personality. It is the kind of bottle that will be empty the 18th of March.

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There were lots of tasteful surprises in the box like chocolate, truffles, marmalade and even Jamaican jerky crisps, but the most amazing was the Irish, whiskey smoked, mineral, sea salt. Guess what was the first thing we did with it? Yes, indeed we put a pinch of it in the whiskey! And it’s f***ing amazing, the purest leprechaun blood you ever tasted!

So, have a Teeling on St. Paddy’s and try to chase the snakes away the morning after!

And remember…

Cheers!

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