When most people think Jameson, they think of the base Jameson blended whiskey. It’s unfortunate that more people aren’t aware of Jameson Gold Reserve Irish Whiskey. This may be because Jameson has priced this whiskey at more than three times the cost of the base blended whiskey. Still, the Gold Reserve gives the Irish whiskey drinker a glimpse into the potential of Jameson and shows off a side of the spirit that has much more character and flavor than the Jameson Blend or the Jameson 12 Year.
Jameson Gold Reserve Irish Whiskey ($60 – 80 proof) is almost the exact same color as the Jameson Blend. The top note on the nose is a nice light oaky/woodsy tone that’s backed up by a nice sweet undertone of vanilla and caramel. The nose on the Gold Reserve is decidedly sweeter and thicker than either the 12 year or the blended version of Jameson. The entry is sweet and easy, and smooth, and unfolds well towards the mid-plate. Midway through, the flavors of subtle oak, vanilla, salted caramel and a very light smokey ash tone come through. It’s a very pleasant combination, but it doesn’t stick around too long, as the finish is relatively short. There’s a slight bit of heat that gets picked up from the mid palate through the finish.
Jameson Gold Reserve Irish Whiskey is smoother with more flavor than the standard Jameson Blend, a clear step up in many ways. Jameson Blend fans who seek out the Gold Reserve will find a spirit that is sweeter and heavier but still extremely smooth and drinkable. Jameson Gold addresses many of the things we don’t love about the base blend, but the price tag on it is so high for an Irish of this kind that it narrows its potential audience. Solidly Recommended.