smoke house...

Beautiful maple and pine trees, swans at the pond, amazing weather, a big fireplace and intensive solid work for five days... The project we were working on took all of our time during our retreat in Virginia and we barely had any time to spend around but last night we shared a rare bottle of fine Irish whiskey to raise a memorable toast to a wonderful man and his loving memory.

Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve (2007 release) (46.0%) was the choice for the occasion. Color: It is definitely not your every day whiskey, right after you see it's glowing amber, coppery color you realize it. Nose: Very elegant. Tons of tropical fruits, passion fruit, banana and pineapple are the first notes coming out of the glass. After the whiskey opens up a little you smell a lot of vanilla mixed with pine cones and resin. Palate: Incredibly velvety but not thick, very smooth. Port is everywhere... Ruby Port... Sweet, dried plums, dates, raisins and maple syrup come after. White pepper and oak follow with very old grain whiskey. Port is still dominating. This dram has much more wine notes than any other new trendy wine cask finished whiskeys and they are much more integrated. Finish: Long and smooth. The spicy finish I was expecting from an Irish whiskey is there but not so much peppery, rounded with cinnamon and nutmeg. Resin comes back and stays for a long time.

Overall: Definitely the best Jameson I tasted but I don't know if I ever would pay $250 for a bottle. It shows all the characteristics of an old, fine and expensive blend you will enjoy sipping as your last dram of the night, maybe with a cigar or with dark chocolate. It is one of the whiskeys you will have the privilege to drink not so often and you better do it for the right occasion. I think to raise it as a toast to a beloved man with friends in front of a fireplace in a house in the woods was right.