If you’re a fan of whisky you’ll know that there are all sorts of writers and bloggers getting excited about new, rare and incredibly expensive releases, most of which we can’t afford and will never taste. It’s one of whiskies greatest ironies that a product which takes so long to make and which should be savoured slowly has become such a disposable commodity for whisky writers and bloggers.
So Golden Shots is all about going back to some of the whiskies which first got us excited about whisky, and which we may have forgotten about. Whiskies which warrant rediscovery and don’t require a mortgage to buy.
Sometimes though there is a duty for independent whisky journalists to have the courage to stand and up and say “NO!! THIS WON’T DO! TAKE YOUR SCUMMY WHISKY AND THROW IT DOWN THE SINK. BAH’ and unfortunately that’s the case with this week’s choice for Golden Shots. Or more exactly, Ginger Shots. Ladies and gentleman, meet the year’s worst whisky release – Jameson Ginger.
Jameson is a name that you associate with fine quality whiskey, so this latest release comes as a shock. For a starter, it seems to break with its own past and casts a big eye across the water, and particularly to the Highlands and Islands. And it seems that its creators are quite happy to copy Macallan and steal the idea of using colour as a way of explaining the taste.
But ginger? What’s that about.
The whisky itself is also a bit of a shocker. The spirit is 30 years old, for a starter, and that’s old. Really old. Bordering on ancient. It’s like one big advert saying ‘forget youth, time to man up, accept your responsibilities and get on with it.’
On first impressions it’s not so bad. The nose is big. Really big. But then on the palate there’s oils and fish, with the slight taint of cheap perfume. Like a stolen snog in an Aberdeen back alley. It’s like someone has chucked in some peaty Islay whisky but it says loudly ‘don’t give me Edinburgh sophistication, don’t give me thriving Glasgow, give me gritty Aberdeen granite. I’m ginger and I’m proud and boo to Rangers.’ Metaphorically speaking.
What really sets this apart from most other releases, though, is the fact that when it’s left out in the sun, it changes from ginger to bright red.
And it’s best enjoyed if you’re Neiling.
Happy birthday to our W Club guru, Neil Jamieson, 30 years old today.