Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve is billed as the “elder statesmen” of the line by the distillery, and it is undoubtedly the most rarefied bottle of whiskey Jameson produces. Jameson is arguably at the forefront of Irish whiskey labels (it is undoubtedly the most famous), Jameson 18 Year is at the forefront of premium Irish whiskey. In many parts of the world, where fine scotch and single barrel bourbon are impossible to find, extensive distribution ensures that a Jameson 18 Year Old Reserve bottle constitutes the very top of a bar’s top shelf.
As cheap as that bottle cap is, there is nothing cheap about how Jameson 18 Year is made. The whiskey is aged at least 18 years in Oloroso sherry and bourbon casks and represents a blend of at least three barrels, chosen by Jamesons Master Blender. This aged Irish whiskey has an amber-gold color, darker than most Irish whiskeys, and very pleasant in the glass. It is bottled at 40% alcohol.
The nose is thick with a spicy toffee scent with mellow hints of woodiness. The latter quality points to one of the most surprising characteristics of the 18 Year since one might expect more wood from a whiskey that spent almost two decades in the barrel. The toffee retreats into a smooth, even blend of oily fudge, wood, toffee, and vanilla on the palate. The finish is very soft. Overall, the prolonged aging and skilled blending enhance the complexity of the whiskey without eliminating the signature lightness of the Irish style.
This whisky has been awarded Gold by International Spirits Challenge seven times; Gold Outstanding by International Wine and Spirit Challenge in 2015.