I'll be blunt: I don't think the standard Jameson is very good. Like, at all. That said, the distillery does offer some really delicious products that are worth a second opinion. The Gold Reserve is a great case in point. 

Now, for people used to drinking so much Jameson on St. Patrick's day that they've had to hork in the bushes outside of their nearest Irish pub, spending $60 on the Gold might seem delirious. Then again, if six shots of "Jamie" is going to run you about $60 at a nearby bar, consider buying one of the better Jamesons and spending the night indoors with friends. That way, if you end up listening to Flogging Molly cranked up so loud that it makes the drywall crumble, at least it was something you voluntarily signed up for. 

What's particularly interesting about Jameson Gold is that it's one of those rare bottles where all of the different production methods are tastable, for lack of a better word. The Gold is a mix of three different kinds of casks: American ex-bourbon, sherry casks, and virgin oak barrels, and each one lends something to the mix rather than serving only as an interesting bullet point somewhere on the box.

Jameson Gold Reserve is a great example of where spending more gets you more.

From the ex-bourbon barrels comes a pronounced creaminess in the form of vanilla custard and coconut, and the sweetness in this whiskey is rich and delightful, so that's nice. From the sherry, we get a decent amount of fruit on the palate: nothing crazy, but there's some juiciness reminiscent of cherries and blueberries. Finally, 10% of the whiskey is stored in virgin oak. The jury's out as to whether virgin oak maturation really works for scotch or Irish whiskey as well as it does for bourbon (most think it's a heavy-handed approach to finishing). Here, however, the restrained treatment gives the whiskey ample amounts of cinnamon and pepper crackle.

Simply put, everything comes together. If you'd have asked me what I thought about the whiskey at first, I'd have probably told you it was a little boring, but that wouldn't have been entirely fair. Over the course of a bottle it began to grow on me, so I'd say that it could use a little time and space (and perhaps oxidation) to make a good impression. It's nuanced, which isn't a word most would apply to the rack-grade Jameson.

In any case, I feel like the Gold is another great example of spending more and getting more. In this case, it compares extremely favorably to Jameson Black Barrel, which may be by far the better value (at half the price of the Gold), but doesn't taste quite as good as this.

Give it a chance to grow on you and I think you'll be pleased.    

Nose: Mint, pink pearl eraser, paprika, and hyper-concentrated nutmeg. All this with the very distinct aroma of the unmalted barley.
Taste: Cream soda and coconut in abundance, with mochi, white pepper, and a little anise on the development. Good mouthfeel and very drinkable.
Finish: Turkish delight and gummi mochi flavors linger, along with a decent level of spice at the top of the tongue.
Misc: 40% ABV, triple cask finished, NAS.
Price: $60~70
Overall Rating