I am finally back in Milano after a 3 week trip to Canada - believe it not, I didn't have a single cocktail while I was there. What a better way to fall off the wagon than a Jameson Masterclass at Morgante!
Thanks to an invitation from Kate Wheeler, I attended the Jameson event today at the elegant Morgante cocktail bar in Navigli. The master class started with a short history of Jameson Irish Whiskey. Not everyone may know this but John Jameson, the founder of Jameson, is actually Scottish. At forty years of age in 1780, he moved to Dublin, confident he could come up with a great whiskey. Now, Jameson is easily the most popular Irish whiskey in the world, owning about 60% of the global market.
For those who haven't tried Irish whiskey before, what sets it out from Scotch and American whiskey is its triple distillation. The result is a very smooth and drinkable whisky. Jameson is made with a mix of malted and unmalted barley, all sourced from within a fifty-mile radius around the distillery. The finished product is slightly floral on the nose while the taste is a bit spicy with hints of vanilla and sherry thanks to the finish in bourbon and sherry barrels, respectively.
We also sampled the Select Reserve Black Barrel, a smokier version of Jameson thanks to the double charred bourbon barrels used for finishing the whiskey (in addition to sherry barrels). Black Barrel has a heavenly nose of exotic fruit. Black Barrel is my favorite of the Jameson lineup, thanks to its slightly more aggressive taste profile.
Last up was the Caskmates Jameson, which is finished in barrels of stout from a local brewer. The favorite of brand ambassador Kate has a hint of cocoa beans and hops on the palate, with a butterscotch finish.
Patrick Pistolesi then made us 5 great cocktails with Jameson. My favorites were the Old Bastard and Old Pal. Overall, the afternoon of Jameson at Morgante was great - it gave me a new appreciate to a whisky I rarely drink. Thanks Kate, Carlo, Patrick, Massimo, Milo and Gianfranco.