Friday, March 17, 2017

Wakey Whiskey: St. Paddy's Irish Whiskey Battle - Jameson vs Tullamore DEW

by Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!  Or it could be St. Paddy's Day, but never Patty... never. Seriously, never.

Now, I'm not really going to #wakeywhiskey on a Friday morning (always #wakeywhiskey responsibly) before work, but here's a sneak preview of what tomorrow morning has in store for me. Tomorrow of course will be the 32nd annual Baton Rouge St. Patrick's Day parade, Wearin' of the Green, a great event for all of the city to enjoy.  In that honor, it's time for a good old-fashioned Irish whiskey showdown, Jameson vs. Tullamore DEW.

Jameson and Tullamore DEW tastings
Jameson and Tullamore DEW tastings

These are a couple of standard-bearers in the Irish Whiskey world, both triple distilled and bottled at 80 proof. Jameson has been in production since 1810 in a distillery that was established in Dublin 30 years earlier in 1780. Tullamore DEW originated in 1829, and after shifting production around a few other distilleries in the mid-to-late 1900s is now back in Tullamore, Ireland.

The first observance is that served neat the Jameson is a little darker than the Tulllamore DEW, which indicates to me that it's been aged slightly longer, but it's not a significant difference.  The Jameson, on first sip, is just so smooth, even smoother than I remember, with hints of honey and a floral sweetness. I'm really amazed as the finish as well, just as easy as the front end, which could make a dangerous Saturday morning if I'm not careful.  Overall, even better than I remember, and a worthy choice for any St. Patrick's Day... but... how about that Tullamore DEW?

The color of the Tullamore DEW is slightly lighter, and the aroma is a little more floral and less sweet than the Jameson, with a hint of minerals likely from the water used in the process.  The taste is more of the same, with a little more bite than the Jameson, but still less than most whiskeys out there, putting it on the smooth side of the spectrum. Now, mind you this is on my personal spectrum, so a novice whiskey drinker is probably going to get a good bite out of both of these Irish selections.

Overall, this is going to come down to personal preference... if you want velvety smooth, go for the Jameson, but if you like a little bite to your sip, opt for the Tullamore DEW.  Either way, as a St. Paddy's #wakeywhiskey both are sure to get you in the Irish spirit.


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