Last Fall, I was lucky enough to travel to the old sod over Jersey Week. A part of my spoils was a bottle of Jameson’s Crested Ten. This is sort of tweener, somewhere between the original Jameson and the more refined 12 but at a price point that is a lot closer to the original Jameson than it is to the 12. After I had made my selections at the Duty Free Shop in Dublin, the clerk commented on what a value the Crested Ten was. A quick look at the Celtic Whiskey shop reveals that the” brand was launched in 1963 and is Jameson’s oldest bottled brand. Not 10 years old as the name suggests, it is a fuller, richer, spicy, sherried version of the regular Jameson with the majority of the blend being 7-8 years with approximately 60% of the blend being pot still and 40% grain. Full-bodied with soft, delicate sherry undertones, toasted wood, perfectly balanced with fruit, spices and chocolate.” They go a step further and include a quote from Jim Murray’s A Taste of Irish Whiskey:
A whiskey of great finesse which is balanced beautifully between sweet and dry, light notes and heavy ones. Like all great Irish whiskeys, for the most satisfying results, this should not be sipped but taken by the mouthful and swallowed slowly.
I found the Crested Ten to be:
- Appearance: Golden honey with good legs
- Aroma: Toffee, heather and faint hint of mint tea.
- Taste: Spicy on the tongue (peppery) with a nice balance of sweetness (toffee, vanilla and mint) and a velvety smooth, warming finish.
- ABV: 40%
Lately, I have found that bottles at 40% ABV have become almost too soft and lack that oomph that is clearly discernible from something bottled at 43% – 46%. My complaint has been that what the spirit may have developed in smoothness it lost in an almost watered down quality. This was certainly not the case with the Crested Ten. Truth be told, I am a huge fan of all things Jameson; from the Original, to the Gold, to the 12 and the 18 to Red Breast and Midleton; just put it through their quality checks and put John’s signature on the bottle and I am sold. And, the Crested Ten did not disappoint. My only gripe, the bottle was only a 700ml. So, now I must savor what is left and keep it from the fellows. This will not make an appearance at Dregs Night.