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Aug 3, 2008 12:43 AM

Need some advice on Irish Whiskey.

I am new to Irish whiskey (more of a Scotch drinker) and have tried only two Irish Whiskeys, Bushmill's: White Bush (decent, a bit harsh though) and and Jameson's Original (NAS =no age statement). I really enjoyed the Jameson's Original, it was a bit different from Scotch, no smoke or peat and it was relatively sweet.

I'm debating between Jameson's Original and Jameson's 12 year old, which I have not been able to taste yet but I have heard that its "better". I'd appreciate it if someone could tell me a bit about them (similarities/differences, is Jameson's 12 yr does it taste like the original?, sweetness?, is it "worth the difference"?, etc...)

The Jameson's Original goes for around ~$22 for a 1 liter (100cls) bottle

The Jameson's 12 yr old goes for around ~$53 for a 1 liter (100cls) bottle

Yes, I know there are all these other great Irish whiskeys out there such as Red Breast etc... but they are not available by me. :(

Just for the heck of it how is Red Breast Whiskey compared to the Jameson's (I know Red Breast made by Jameson's)? Is the taste similar? sweet?, etc...


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  1. I've had Jameson's Original and it's not bad. I'm not an Irish Whisky drinker though. I tend to go with Scotch or Bourbon because of the added taste.

    But I've read that the 12 year is very much like the original in taste but it is noticeably smoother. Of course, like scotch, is it worth the price difference. That's up to you to decide.

    But I've also read, from many sources (almost too many) that Red Breast is better then the two before mentioned Jameson's.

    When I fineally get around to getting a bottle or two of Irish Whisky for my house bar, It'll probably be Black Bush and Red Breast... or Connemara if I can find a bottle.

    1. So, I haven't had the chance to try the higher end ones, but I can tell you this. Powers Irish Whiskey beats Bushmill's easily. So if you get a chance, I would pick up a bottle of Powers as well.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Xaga

        Another vote for Power's. Dry without being hot.

        For something completely different, try Tullamore Dew. Sweeter, thicker ... very good, just different.

        I grew up with Jameson's but since trying Power's and Dew, I've not gone back.

        1. re: NYChristopher

          Had a Powers last night at the local irish pub. Very nice. Also had a Connemara Cask Strength--very "casky" more like a Scotch. A splash of water smoothed it out nicely. Definitely a sipping whiskey, versus shots with a beer back drink. Next visit, I'm trying the Midlothan and the Connemara Peat. Nice selection of Irish whiskies at the pub, no Red Breast, which I like, or Kippalong (sic) Castle, though.

          1. re: crewsweeper

            The Connemara peated is not my thing, but then what I really want ... Paddy ... I have an impossible time finding in the States.

            1. re: NYChristopher

              May I suggest Clontarf. It comes in three ranges and all are quite good. The cheapest is about $20 per bottle.

      2. I haven't had your two Jameson selections, but I have had the basic Jameson NAS as well as Redbreast 12 year old (the 15 is not available in the US). Redbreast is a pure pot still whereas the Jameson NAS is a blend. I'm not a huge fan of Jameson NAS as I find it indistinct, but Redbreast has a real nice malty flavor, still very smooth. It's similar in taste to a lowland Scotch.

        Here's a Redbreast review:

        1. In the entry level class, I'd second the Powers. Tullamore is a little sweet tasting for me, but not bad as a change of pace. Next step up is the Connemara. But for real serious Irish whisky, there is none to compare(IMO) with Middleton Extra Rare. It is to Irish what Pappy van Winkle family reserve is to bourbon, or Macallan 25 is to Scotch. Smooth and rich without being heavy. It has some spice and heathery notes in the front end and some toast and caramel, but not strongly so. If you will spring for a bottle(about $175 at last sighting) or find a good(and I mean good) friend tht will pour you a wee dram(I know that's scottish) you'll be hooked.