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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Irish Eyes

Well, it's been a few weeks since we were there, but our thoughts are still very much on the fun we had in Dublin just before St Patrick's Day. As with last years festivities, we were both on hand during the Jameson Global Broadcast to offer a vaguely English take on Irish whiskey for the assembled DJ's who travelled from across America, Scandinavia, South America and for the first time, India!

However, before the event kicked off, Jameson threw one of their famed Cult Cinema nights to entertain the DJs and this year, the theme was The Blues Brothers. Arriving at a huge warehouse, made to look like the Chicago State Penitentiary, the guests were herded in by surly looking prison guards (and not so surly, as you'll see from these pictures).

Canteen food was served, whilst the legendary film played out on a huge screen, diners flanked by guards with guns. It gave the whole film a new dimension of realism. Then, just when we weren't expecting it- James Brown arrived on stage! (Obviously not THE James Brown but a pretty accurate reproduction named Buck from Texas). From here on in, people were dancing on tables, Jameson cocktails in hand and the strains of Everybody Needs Somebody are probably still echoing around the warehouse today- all in all a superb night!

It was great catching up with our old friend Henry, the John Peel of Boston, proudly residing over the airwaves of WFNX in Boston. Henry knows a few things or two about music (he was probably the first person in America to play U2, Adele and Mumford & Sons) so we had a good catch up about his tips for the future and his choice of St Patrick's Day soundtrack, which you can see below:

Next on the Caskstrength interview trail was a newcomer to the Jameson Global Broadcast- Michelle Patrao from Radio Indigo in Mumbai. Despite the rain, Michelle had some big plans for larging it Dublin style on St Patrick's day.

After meeting so many fantastic people from across the globe, we relaxed with measure of Jameson to discuss the merits of Irish whiskey with Liam Donegan, one of Jameson Distillers, who treated us to this excellent bottling:

Jameson - Select Reserve - Black Barrel - 40% abv

Nose: Obviously Irish, obviously Jameson but this whiskey has come from oak casks which have been heavily charred, giving the nose more punch than normal for a triple distilled offering. Some spices, reduced sugars and red fruit jams are apparent.

Palate: The palate delivers what the nose promises, with the rich red fruits (reduced with sugar in pan) being backed with some creamy notes, toasted wholemeal bread and slowly melting butter.

Finish: Smooth and rich, this whiskey really is a level above.

Overall: Seems as rare as hens teeth, but if you get a chance, grab a taste. Well worth it.

Next on the list was a meeting with Paul Daly. Artist, cocktail bar owner and designer of the new limited release St Patricks Day bottling of Jameson Original, five bottles of which we gave away in our competition in February, it was fantastic to hear from this Hoxton Sq based creative about his Irish background and how he was influecned to create the unique bottling he did, drawing mainly on the concept of updating the classic imagery from the Irish book of Kells.

The Global Broadcast really brings home that on a day like St Patrick's Day, no matter where you are, get the right group of people together in a room and the fun will start to kick off... and clearly, a few drams of Jameson may help to lubricate the whole thing, just to be sure.