A beer and a whiskey: Jameson & Franciscan Well Jameson Aged Pale Ale

Franciscan Pale Ale Jameson Cask

For most of the week, I have been in Ireland visiting the Irish Whiskey Academy, as a guest of Jameson, down at their Midleton distillery near Cork. It has been an excellent trip, both for tasting and for learning. The training school finished Tuesday afternoon, and then there was a stroke of luck.

Franciscan Well and Jameson

Due to flights, most of the attendees of the whiskey academy had to fly back home on Tuesday night. My flight, on the other hand, didn’t depart until 3pm Wednesday, and as luck would have it, there was a beer and whiskey matching event happening in Cork on the Tuesday night. Since I have been writing quite a bit about beer and whisky matching recently (here and here), this seemed to be too good an opportunity to pass up.

Franciscan Well Brewery, Cork

Franciscan Well is based at the North Mall in Cork, where they built the brewery in 1998 on the old site of the Franciscan Well and Monastery, which dates back to 1219. The water from this monastery was famed for having healing properties.

Since 1998, the folks at Franciscan Well have been producing craft Irish Ale. Recently, their founder and some of the folks at Jameson had a few late night Hauf and Haufs, and decided to embark on a project; taking some of the Franciscan Well Ale and maturing it in ex Jameson Casks, bottling the beer, and using the casks for ageing whiskey. The first of these projects was a stout, which sold very quickly. The second release, which I tried, was a Pale Ale. So let’s see what it tasted like:

Franciscan Pale Ale Aged in Jameson Casks
Cask Spec: 2nd Fill American Oak Cask
Aged for 60 Days
6% Abv

Palate: Honeycomb, balanced maltiness, a dash of fruit, all balanced with oaky dryness. It is a very well crafted ale, that isn’t too sweet.

Matched with Jameson: The sweetness of the whiskey powers through to begin with, adding more blackcurrant and gooseberry fruits, which is followed by the malty, honey sweetness of the ale. I thought it worked really well.

Hopefully I’ll be able to source more, now I’m back in Scotland!

Chris Hoban


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