Review: Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition Irish Whiskey

Review: Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition Irish Whiskey

It seems like just yesterday that Jameson’s first Caskmates release — an Irish whiskey finished in stout barrels — hit our desk. Now the second of the Caskmates line has arrived: Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition.

Before you get too carried away, know that IPA stands for Irish Pale Ale, though to be honest there doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference between that and a more typical India Pale Ale. And structurally, the whiskey is crafted in much the same way as the original Caskmates Stout Edition.

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition is created using the same process established with Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition, the original whiskey and beer collaboration. Starting with barrels from the Midleton distillery, the local Irish brewery receives the propriety oak whiskey barrels to be filled with their local craft IPA. Once the IPA has imparted its crisp citrus notes, the barrels are sent back to Jameson to be reused to finish Jameson Original, creating Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition. As a result of time spent in the IPA barrels, Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition enhances the smooth taste of Jameson with a crisp, hoppy finish.

While the original Caskmates was perhaps a bit of a letdown, without much of a clear stout character to differentiate it from rack Jameson, Caskmates IPA is a completely different animal. The nose alone is a wildly different experience: Immediately, notes of pine needles are just the start, as elements of bitter dark chocolate, grapefruit peel, raspberry syrup, and torched creme brulee all emerge from the glass. In time, some more floral elements percolate from this melange. None of this is typical of Irish whiskey, of course, and it’s indicative of the impact that time in the IPA barrel has had on the spirit.

The palate is actually less unique than the nose, with notes of rich honey syrup, lemon peel, and a straightforward hoppiness hitting first. As the body develops, so does a silky salted caramel character that folds a soothing element into an otherwise spicy attack. The finish is lightly hoppy, with notes of spicy black pepper, but also a supple vanilla caramel note that endures beyond them all.

Wow, what to make of this wild whiskey? It is incredibly, surprisingly complex, unexpected, and original — and yet it there’s a balance to all that indicates an impressive level of astuteness that went into planning and executing this unique barrel treatment.

Beer and a shot? Now you can get them both in one bottle. Well done.

80 proof.


Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition Irish Whiskey




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Tam o' Banter on September 22, 2019 at 5:24 am

    I wouldn’t gush over this whiskey as Mr Null did, but the difference between this and the standard Jameson’s is surprising. There is still the almost total absence of finish, but it does have a lot more going for it. It is creamier and richer, more grown-up; less “slammable”. And given the fact that the premium is negligible, I have to give this distillery a firm thumbs-up for this Edition.

  2. Dirk Draper on December 9, 2019 at 3:42 am

    I would love for this reviewer to review this again, 2 years later. Would the overall score and perception be slightly different or essentially the same? Just a curious observation- please consider, thanks.

    Jameson lover

    • Christopher Null on December 9, 2019 at 6:05 pm

      Dirk – Gave this a fresh try tonight (from the same, 3/4-full bottle) without re-reading my earlier review. Quick tasting notes: Distinctly piney/hoppy and perfumed on the nose, but the palate melds that bitterness beautifully with the honey sweetness of the Irish, creating an exotic and unique body that sees notes of dried flowers, spices, and citrus peel. Creamy body, with just a hint of hops on the back end. I’d give it an A- today. Hope that is useful!

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