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Friday, 17 February 2012

St Practice Day: win some Jameson Irish Whiskey

It is fast approaching that time of year once again when the Irish throw one, huge global party. Forget the pints being thrown back on St Patrick’s Day, for here at Caskstrength HQ we’re all about the whiskey. With the posh new ‘Single Pot Still’ bottlings such as Green Spot, Redbreast and Powers John’s Lane all coming out of the Midleton Distillery in County Cork, Irish whiskey is undergoing somewhat of a revival. Latest figures show Irish whiskey sales flying at an all time high and leading the assault is the cousin of these posh new offerings, the Captain of the team, the flagship for the Emerald Isle... Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Last year we attended their knees-up bash at the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day. A fantastic event from start to finish, the whole atmosphere embraced the Irish spirit in more ways than one.

This year will see a similar affair take place in the city, on 16th March 2012, representing the convivial and community-minded aspect of whiskey, which seems to come so easily to those making Jameson. Being exactly a month away from St Patrick's Day itself, this gives us a wonderful opportunity to do three things on the site:

Firstly, we have very kindly been given FIVE special edition bottles Jameson Irish Whiskey to give away to five of our readers. All you have to do is answer this cheeky little question:

Which leaf used to celebrate Ireland and St Patrick’s Day?

A. Maple leaf / B. Ivy leaf / C. Shamrock / D. Oak leaf

Send your answer in on an email to:

The closing date is 12pm GMT on the 15th March 2012. The usual T&C’s apply and you MUST be over the legal drinking age in your country to enter. Please also include your name, age and address - them's the rules.

Secondly, we couldn’t offer up a whiskey without writing some tasting notes on it, so you know exactly what you’re in line to potentially win. Here are our thoughts on this market-leading Irish whiskey:

Jameson Blended Irish Whiskey – NAS - 40% abv

Nose: Aromas of toasted marshmallow, light lemon zest and toasted wood underpin some delicate sherry notes all backed with a light-hearted spice top line.

Palate: Slight herbal and mint tones mix well with freshly cracked hazelnuts and some cinnamon, but a smooth vanilla base gives this blend the idea palate for sipping on or partnering with stronger flavours.

Finish: Short and immediate, this dram gets straight to the point of being easy and an all-rounder in the flavour department.

Overall: A great whiskey to get started on in the Jameson range, this liquid is versatile in cocktails too.

Which leads us on to our third and final bag of fun. As mentioned above, Jameson goes well in cocktails, so we’ve been playing in the labs at Caskstrength HQ to come up with a refreshing St Patrick’s Day cocktail that is easy to make at home, especially if you get to practice today- St Practice Day! Our concoction is a simple Mint Julep with an Irish twist.

Mint Julep - Dublin Style.

You’ll need: a handful of fresh mint leaves, sugar syrup (Monin Pure Cane Sugar Syrup is good, or you can easily make your own), Jameson Irish Whiskey, some Green Chartreuse and lots of crushed ice.

To make the drink, pull some of the mint leaves from the bunch, putting them in to a cup with ice on top. Muddle the leaves to release their flavour and aroma. To this, add 40ml of Jameson Irish Whiskey, 10ml of sugar syrup and 5ml of green chartreuse. Add more ice and stir. Garnish with a sprig of mint clapped between the hands to release the aroma and serve in a tin cup from the freezer. Simple and delicious, to-be-sure-to-be-sure-to-be-sure!