Jameson Live: After the Storm

Bombay Bicycle Club at Jameson Live

“One drop of water brings out the inside of orange peel in the deep background but the second drop turns it into a tangerine seed. Amazing!”

We’ve all been there. We pride ourselves on being geeks. Talking about esters, phenols, pH or pitching rates gives us joy and happiness. No wonder that sometimes we seem a bit removed from what’s really going on in the industry. And from what makes all the geekery possible.

At Edinburgh Whisky Blog we pride ourselves on never saying no to a dram, be it a 70 year old Mortlach or… Jameson Original. And last weekend in Dublin that strategy was proven the right one, for not only did we have a whale of a time but also we learned something valuable, we saw whiskey like we’d never seen it before.

Sitting in a lift as we’re heading out. The whisky-geek-head still on but all is about to change.

The word here is ‘action’. Jameson Live was all about that. Served long with ginger ale and lime, in a wolfhound or a cherry sour, it didn’t take the central stage at any point (apart from our tasting with Liam on which Graeme will report shortly). Instead it lubed the proceedings, fuelled the craic and was generally this great familiar presence in the glass. I don’t know if I’m even saying this right. Generally, whataver we do around whisky is about the whisky full stop. But being in Dublin on St Patrick’s day made us remember once again that whisky/whiskey is about more and, indeed, without the people who drink it, it’s just a liquid made up of mainly H2O and C2H5OH.

A particularly pesky stalker of a groupie finally makes her move for an autograph. Graeme refuses politely.

This is something that in my opinion shines through in everything the good people at Jameson do. The brand is unpretentious and is becoming unapologetically modern. Young people in Dublin didn’t hesitate to order one long Jameson after another during the Jameson Live main gig, even though other drinks were available to them. Bombay Bicycle Club and Jameson at no point felt like an arranged marriage. Jameson could successfully sponsor a mega music festival and no one would bat an eyelid. In fact I think people would be happier with Jamie & Ginger at T in the Park than they are with the yellow stuff. Even Graeme and I after Red Breasts and Yellow Spots a plenty, were eventually genuinely drawn to the fresh and uncomplicated concoctions served over ice.

Without pretending that the giant millenium spike thingy in the centre of Dublin was Graeme’s penis, the whole trip would have been pointless, right? (pointless? ka-ching!)

Where there’s no time for a gurgle of coffee before each sip, where there is not a pipette in sight, where the air is full of noises and smells, blends ARE the answer. People all around the world seem to understand that but here in Scotland we have a strange problem with the concept. Cheap, flat lager and a large glass of fucking rosé are at the bottom of our drinking problem imho and I hereby pledge to have at least one blend+mixer every time I’m out for a session. That I pledge not to drink cheap corpo lager or £2.99 glasses of rosé I hope goes without saying.

Jameson has achieved what many Scotch brands have attempted and failed to do. It’s become cool. We salute them, we love them, we root for them. They’ve done it again.

Update: Failed to mention that Irish Distillers aka the good people of Jameson who also generously release single pot still whiskeys, have just won the Whisky Distiller of the Year 2013 at World Whisky Awards. Boom!

We were still rocking on the plane home. Quietly though. With lots of sugar and bacon involved…

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