Jameson vs Bushmills – Which Irish Whiskey is Best for You?

“May your glass be ever full,

May the roof over your head be always strong,

And may you be in heaven

Half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”

~ Traditional Irish Toast.

St. Patrick’s Day is a great day that many people use as an excuse to enjoy Irish whiskey, which, of course, is more approachable and mellower than bourbon. It is also much more affordable than scotch.

Jameson and Bushmills are triple-distilled favorites, both smooth, slightly sweet, and warm. But Jameson Irish whiskey is the best of them all, which is quite evident as it is the bestselling Irish whiskey in the world with more than 90 percent of it exported to other countries around the world.

What brings these Irish whiskeys together is the fact that they originate from the same island, made using cereal grains, and aged for at least 3 years. They are slightly sweet and incredibly smooth, and almost always consumed neat.

Another point that is incredibly niche is that Irish whiskeys like Jameson and Bushmills have pocket-friendly price points. Scotch enthusiasts have no choice than to shell out up to $40 and even $50 to procure the average single malt. And for the killer stuff, well, let’s just say a couple hundred wouldn’t even suffice.

But Irish whiskey fans can, on the other hand, confidently get topnotch, top-shelf stuff for an amount of money that is well below $100, even $30. Both Jameson and Bushmills cost less than $30, each.

And of course, you don’t need anyone telling you that both Jameson and Bushmills are the best and most popular affordable Irish whiskeys in the world today. This is one of the reasons why the popularity of Irish whiskey has exploded over the past decade and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Another reason for the explosive popularity of Irish whiskey as one of the fastest-growing and best-selling categories of liquor in the United States is that younger people who are interested in developing a taste for whiskey love it tremendously.

Irish whiskey also tastes like a rich, brown spirit and an excellent transitional drink for people who are beginning to explore the world beyond tequila shots and vodka-sodas. So, forget about the green beer this St. Patrick’s Day because whiskey is obviously the way to go.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at Jameson and Bushmills, find out what makes them tick, why they are the best and of course the best one to go for.

So, get ready for the ride of your life; it’s about to get exciting from here on out!

Main Differences Between Jameson And Bushmills

•    Jameson comes with a mellow flavor on the nose along with hints of spice and floral scents. These combine beautifully well with a fruity citrus and vanilla flavor on the palate and a medium finish.

Bushmills, on the other hand, initially portrays a sharper scent than Jameson, but shows undertones of vanilla along with tangy – pleasantly sharp – floral flavor on the palate. It also has a much longer finish.

•    Jameson hails from Catholic-rich County Cork while Bushmills originates from Protestant-heavy Northern Ireland.

•    Jameson was founded in 1780 by a Scottish guy names John Jameson after he purchased the Bow Street Distillery, one of the biggest distilleries in Ireland at the time. Bushmills, on the other hand, was officially licensed in 1608 by King James I.

•    Jameson is owned by a French liquor conglomerate known as Pernod-Ricard while Bushmills is owned by an English firm called Diageo.

•    Jameson contains 104 calories per service, while Bushmills showcases 98 calories per service.

Jameson Irish Whiskey

jameson

Jameson Irish Whiskey is renowned on the Whiskey Universe for its smoothness and how flavorsome it is. It is a veritable companion to mixers and an excellent ingredient in cocktails.

Purists may say one should never take premium Jameson Irish Whiskey with anything other than a splash of water, but they can never be more wrong.

Jameson Irish Whiskey and How it is Made

It is highly crucial to understand how the #1 Irish Whiskey in the world is made so that you can appreciate its versatility.

Jameson Irish Whiskey is produced in Midleton, Ireland, though the original home of the brand is in Dublin. The company has been running since 1780 and has developed and perfected the art of producing the premium quality, top shelf, and smoothest Irish whiskey in the world today.

Jameson Irish Whiskey is composed of both malted and unmalted barley; the use of the latter uniquely defines Irish whiskey, giving it that creamy feel it is known for. The barley also imparts other flavors such as fruit and spice.

The distillery also ferments maize and malt during the production process. These are the grains that provide the final product with floral tones in aroma and taste. The combination of each and every one of these flavors make Jameson Irish Whiskey adaptable to a wide variety of drinks and incredibly special.

Jameson Distilling Method

Jameson goes to a lot of trouble to produce its world-famous whiskey, starting from the distilling process. The overall effects of the extra mile they go when producing this alcoholic beverage are evident in its taste. The whiskey is distilled at least three times, thereby giving it a smooth texture and feel. American whiskey, in comparison, is only distilled once or maybe twice.

Another crucial factor that makes a significant impact on the final taste of whiskey is water. The water that is used in the Midleton plant during the production of Jameson Irish Whiskey is sourced from Dungourney, the local river.

The water is midway between soft and hard, and it’s level of calcium makes it the perfect choice for brewing this Irish alcoholic beverage.

How to Serve Jameson Irish Whiskey Neat

Many whiskey enthusiasts do not like mixing or diluting their favorite tipple with water or even any other beverage. That’s okay; nothing’s wrong with that at all. A shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey is quite tasty when consumed by itself, and does not need anything extra to improve its flavor.

Jameson Irish Whiskey can be served at room temperature, which is measured at 60 degrees to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. A wide-brimmed glass gives room for drinkers to fully appreciate the aroma of the alcoholic beverage before you take a sip.

You may also make use of a tulip-shaped glass to centralize or concentrate the scent of the whiskey for the drinker.

Jameson Irish Whiskey can also be served neat but on the rocks. Ice, however, can quickly eliminate some of the flavor notes from this alcoholic beverage. However, the traditional method of serving whiskey has a lot to offer.

So, drop at least three or four ice cubes in a glass and then pour in 2 oz of whiskey.

Jameson Irish Whiskey and Water

Many whiskey connoisseurs advocate the use of water as the best mixer for consuming Jameson Irish Whiskey. When you dilute whiskey with soda water or ordinary water, the effect of the alcohol on your taste buds will significantly reduce.

However, another wonderful thing happens; the subtler flavors will be considerably highlighted as a result of adding water to Jameson whiskey.

Despite this, however. Jameson Irish Whiskey mixes remarkably well with coffee, sweet sodas as well as beer. Each mixer exhibits a different – and extensive – range of the alcoholic beverage’s many tastes.

Make sure that the water you add to your Jameson whiskey is at room temperature, not cold. The only exception to this law is if the weather is abnormally warm. In that case, get hold of chilled soda water and add it to your whiskey to create a refreshing drink.

The amount of water – or soda water – you add to your Jameson whiskey is, of course, a thing of preference. You can start with a drop of water and keep adding more if the taste of alcohol is somewhat too strong for you. If you are a beginner, this is the best way to enjoy your Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Jameson Irish Whiskey and Cola

Cola comes with an unusually strong taste, but Jameson Irish Whiskey can take it on, and some more with style. Not many drinkers love the taste of whiskey, and so if you belong to this category, you can mix your Jameson whiskey with cola.

To enhance the taste and balance the peaked sweetness of the mixer, you can also add in a little lemon juice. And if you are watching your weight, you should go for diet cola; it is an acceptable alternative and will go well with your Jameson whiskey as well.

Jameson Irish Whiskey and Ginger

Ginger ale, as well as ginger beer, set off the taste and floral fragrance or notes of Jameson Whiskey. The flavor of the ginger adds more spice to the whiskey while the sweetness of the mixers softens the smooth taste of the alcohol.

If you need that extra and exciting zing, then grate some fresh ginger into your glass of Jameson whiskey. Make sure you grate it finely so that the juice will be let out.

Jameson Irish Whiskey Coffee

There is no better way to warm yourself up on a cold winter’s day than with a nice cup of java with a dash of Jameson Irish Whiskey. This sweet combination brings out of the latent notes of vanilla, oak, cocoa, and citrus in Jameson whiskey.

For a really luxurious drink, you can get whipped cream with maple syrup and add them to your glass of Jameson whiskey. If you need a decorative touch, then you are free to garnish your alcoholic beverage with chocolate sprinkles and a cinnamon stick.

Jameson Irish Whiskey and Guinness

Make no mistake about it: Jameson Irish Whiskey and Guinness are made distinctly for each other. Both drinks have Irish origins and considerably complement each other in-depth of flavor and smoothness.

For a creamy, rich, and highly satisfying drink, add a chocolate liqueur.

Jameson Whiskey Cocktails

jameson cocktail

Jameson Irish Whiskey does not shirk from its place when it comes to traditional whiskey cocktails. When mixed with other drinks, Jameson whiskey brings on a unique twist.

You can make use of Jameson whiskey in hot toddies, Manhattan, whiskey sours, etc. However, you should not allow the convention to put a stop to your creative range. Try Jameson whiskey as a substitute in cocktails that usually feature other types of spirits so that you can see the difference.

You can also get a lot more creative and build up to something astonishing from the ground up.

Jameson Whiskey Sour

Lemon juice typically accentuates the sour citrus flavors when added to Jameson whiskey. However, with a dash of simple syrup, you can soften the sourness with delicious, sugary sweetness. The recipe also comes with grapefruit juice for an extra – and exciting – tang.

Other Jameson Irish Whiskey cocktails include:

  • Jameson Hot Toddy
  • Jameson Manhattan
  • Jameson Long Island Iced Tea

Jameson Irish Whiskey Calories

If you have ever wondered how many calories are present in Jameson Irish Whiskey, then wonder no more. Jameson Irish Whiskey calories are about 104 grams, with 40 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Knowing the alcohol content of this alcoholic beverage is crucial as it will put you in the know when it comes to the alcohol by volume percentage that you consume.

Calories are also vital to track as many people today complain about their increasing fat or weight that they add daily, which is usually based on the number of alcoholic beverages they consume.

So, as you take your favorite glass of Jameson, you will know the exact number of calories present in 1.5 oz. and you will be able to keep a close track of your calorie consumption. It is good to enjoy your drink as often as you can, but it should not be at the expense of your health.

Why Is It Important to Be Aware of The Alcohol Content in Jameson Irish Whiskey?

Alcoholic beverages, when consumed in limited amounts, will not harm the human body. When you know the alcohol by volume of your favorite Jameson Irish Whiskey, you will be able to plan your drinks efficiently and accordingly.

So, whether you are at a party, outdoor event or get together, it is highly crucial for you to ensure that your drinking is not affecting your overall health in any way.

There is really no harm in drinking responsibly. Maturity, they say, does not reflect on how more you drink, but through how you drink.

The Full Range of Jameson Irish Whiskey

The following are the full range of Jameson Irish whiskey:

  • Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve Irish Whiskey
  • Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve Irish Whiskey
  • Jameson Gold Reserve Irish Whiskey
  • Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey
  • Jameson Black Barrel
  • Jameson Signature Reserve
  • Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition
  • Jameson Crested
  • Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition
  • Jameson The Blender’s Dog
  • Jameson The Cooper’s Croze
  • Jameson The Distiller’s Safe

Bushmills Irish Whiskey

Bushmills Irish Whiskey enjoys a global reputation as an authentic whiskey with a heritage that spans four centuries. Bushmills is one of the premium whiskeys in Ireland. It is distilled, aged, and bottled at the oldest working distillery situated in Ireland’s Bushmills Village, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

In this community, Irish whiskey has been shared among friends as far back as 1608 when the area was first granted the official license to distill by King James I.

How Bushmills Irish Whiskey is Made

Bushmills Irish Whiskey is composed of the finest malted Irish barley and pure Irish water. It is one of the Irish whiskeys that undergoes triple distillation that gives the alcoholic beverage its smooth and silky taste.

Bushmills Irish Whiskey is perhaps the only Irish whiskey that comes with a full range of blends, i.e. from standard to deluxe as well as single malts. All of these wide varieties of spirits share the mellow, rich, and highly distinct Bushmills characteristics.

Bushmills Irish Whiskey and How it Tastes

Bushmills Irish Whiskey possesses a sterling, unique smoothness as well as a caramel sweetness. However, both the sweetness and the smoothness of this alcoholic beverage are contained right within a robust wrapper of taste.

This wrapper prevents these characteristics from becoming too dull or cloying. This, and the unique, tingling bite that makes Bushmills Irish Whiskey quite interesting.

Now, while the sweetness of this Irish whiskey dissipates, the more sophisticated bite does not only linger on but also matures on the palate. This gives you nothing but that ultimate assurance that you just downed something wholesome and substantial.

You can alter the impact of Bushmills Irish Whiskey by varying how you drink it: straight or neat, with a splash of water or on the rocks. And with each context, different elements of its characters are brought to the fore.

On the nose, Bushmills Irish Whiskey gives off tones of charcoal, black pepper, asphalt, faint dried coconut, and oatmeal. On the palate, the whiskey glides along with its mildly creamy body – with a lot more pepper upfront – and a hint of marshmallow.

Expect cereal flavors that taste pleasant but lacks depth on the tongue. And the finish gives the sensation of brown sugar and oats.

Bushmills Irish Whiskey Calories ABV

Bushmills Irish Whiskey calories are 98 grams with 40 percent alcohol by volume. That is the number of calories in 1.5 oz, which is not too harmful to your health.

And since you know this now, you will be able to carefully measure the amount of Bushmills Irish Whiskey you consume at any occasion or event. Too much of anything, they say, is bad; this applies to the consumption of Bushmills Irish Whiskey as well.

The Full Range of Bushmills Irish Whiskey

Bushmills, from time to time, release a limited and special edition of their whiskey, all of which are staples in the brand’s portfolio.

Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey

Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey is the flagship whiskey that is commonly found in many bars around the world. You can use this particular alcoholic beverage to make an Irish whiskey cocktail that pleases you. You will never be disappointed in any way!

Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey is a blended spirit that is made of 55 percent single malt produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery. Forty-five percent grain whiskey is procured from Midleton Distillery.

Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey comes at 40 percent alcohol by volume (80 proof).

Other Bushmills Irish Whiskey includes the following:

  • Bushmills Black Bush
  • Bushmills 10 Year Single Malt
  • Bushmills 16 Year Single Malt
  • Bushmills 21 Year Single Malt
  • Bushmills Irish Honey
  • Bushmills 1608

Irish Whiskey Classifications

Here are some Irish whiskey classifications that you may find useful. Go through them and keep them in mind:

  • Single malt Irish whiskey is produced from 100 percent malted barley by a single distillery and in a pot still.
  • Grain Irish whiskey is exceptionally light in style. It is made from corn or wheat and produced in column stills.
  • Single grain Irish whiskey possesses the same characteristics of grain whiskey. The only is that a single grain is used in the distillate. Greenore is an excellent example of this newer distinction.
  • Blended Irish whiskey allegedly constitutes 90 percent all Irish whiskey production. Jameson, as well as Kilbeggan, are famous blended Irish whiskeys.
  • Single Pot Still (formerly referred to as “Pure Pot Still”) whiskey is a blend of malted as well as unmalted barley distilled in a pot still. Pure Pot Still is a remarkable style of whiskey that is unique to Ireland.
  • Potcheen or Irish moonshine distillates do not meet the age requirement to be labeled as Irish whiskey. Similar to American white dog, this is a new make of spirit that has seen little or no time at all in the barrel. Knockeen Hills and Bunratty are two popular brands.

The Biggest Irish Whiskey Myths

people drinking

Over the last ten years or so, the popularity of Irish whiskey has exploded all over the place, and there is no sign that it will slow down any time soon. In 2013 alone, as stated by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, sales of Irish whiskey increased astronomically by up to 17.5 percent that year. This means that it rose to almost 400 percent between 2002 and 2012! That is mindboggling!

But despite this, however, there are a lot of falsehoods that are bandied about in some quarters about Irish whiskey. The stories – or shall we say myths – are discussed by drinkers as well as bartenders, which is quite worrisome.

So, here are some of the biggest myths which were dispelled by an Irishman who was the International Bartender of the Year in 2016 at the Tales of the Cocktail conference.

Jameson is Catholic and Bushmills is Protestant

This myth is the most popular of them all. This myth was brought into existence due to the fact that Jameson Irish whiskey is produced in the Catholic-dominated Republic of Ireland while Bushmills Irish whiskey is produced in Protestant-dominated Northern Ireland.

But there is no truth to this; everything is a matter of geography. Moreover, since there are only a few distilleries in Ireland, these whiskey giants trade casks. This means that your Jameson may contain some Bushmills-made whiskey and vice versa.

And to crown it all, the current master distiller at Bushmills is a Catholic and the founder of the Jameson brand is Scottish i.e. a protestant. So, the myth doesn’t hold water in any way.

Irish Whiskey Is Good for Nothing Else but Shots

It may be true that a lot of Irish whiskeys are ordered as shots around the bars in almost every city of the world, they also work exceptionally well in a variety of cocktails. Most Irish whiskeys can be sipped neat or on the rocks.

Scotch Is Much Better Than Irish Whiskey

The only advantage scotch has over Irish whiskey lies in the number of selection of blends and single malts in the United States which dwarfs the number of Irish whiskeys.

Additionally, there are almost 100 distilleries in Scotland compared to the handful that thrives in the Republic of Ireland. But the terrain is changing as many new brands are popping up, launching and building their own distilleries.

All Irish Whiskey Is Triple Distilled

Indeed, triple distillation is the distinguishing element of the Irish style of whiskey production. However, it is not all Irish whiskey that undergoes triple distillation.

Many Irish whiskeys – along with several Irish single malts – are double distilled.

Irish Whiskey’s Popularity Is New

Although the popularity of Irish whiskey is exploding of late, the country’s distillers first experienced such a boom over a century ago. During that period, the United States was flooded with Irish whiskey produced from over 100 Irish distilleries on the Emerald Isle.

At its peak, Irish whiskey was the biggest in America. But the industry became decimated, no thanks to trade wars with Britain as well as Prohibition in the United States, and two World Wars.

But things have changed exceptionally over the last twenty years. Irish whiskey is back and better!

All Independent Irish Whiskey Are Produced by The Cooley Distillery

This is far from the truth; not even before Beam Global purchased Cooley, which is the home of Connemara and Tyrconnel.

Irish Whiskey is A Beer and A Shot of Whiskey

This idea was birthed as a result of the way Americans were introduced to the alcoholic beverage, i.e. mostly as college students.

Many American college students usually drink a shot of Jameson whiskey with cheap longneck beer. But then, excellent sipping whiskeys – such as Connemara and Redbreast – have been around for a pretty long time.

Each of these sipping whiskeys come with premium expressions in the Bushmills and Jameson line. Many whiskeys out there can be taken on the rocks or even neat, depending on the preference of the drinker.

Additionally, Irish whiskeys mix well with other drinks and so make a wide variety of tasty cocktails.

All Irish Whiskeys Taste the Same

One can attribute this statement to the domination of the #1 best-selling Irish whiskey from Jameson and Sons Distilleries. But nowadays, there is a wide range of Irish whiskeys, each of which features different profiles.

Irish whiskeys such as Bushmills, Redbreast, Powers, Green Spot, etc. have emerged with their unique flavors. Irish single malts like Tyrconnell and Knappogue Castle offer whiskeys that have been finished in sherry – or other – wine casks.

FAQ’s About Irish Whiskey

Q: Is it necessary for Irish whiskey to be triple distilled?

A: No. there is no strict requirement for three distillations. During the early part of the 19th century, double-distillation, as well as triple-distillation, was performed in Ireland.

Although triple-distillation in pot stills are still incredibly popular, there are several examples of double-distilled whiskeys that are similar to those obtained from Scotland.

Q: Why is Irish whiskey not smoky?

A: When smoke is perceived in whiskey, in most cases, it has to do with the way malted barley is dried over a fire that is fueled by peat or other aromatic substances. However, this practice is no longer common when producing whiskey in Ireland.

But a few peated examples – such as Connemara, etc. – still exist.

Q: Which Irish whiskeys are referred to as Catholic and which ones are called Protestant?

A: Jameson – along with a few other Irish whiskeys – are produced at Midleton, County Cork and are known as “Catholic.”

Bushmills, on the other hand, is produced in Northern Ireland, and is typically christened “Protestant.” The surprising thing here is that most Bushmills products make use of Midleton grain whiskey and both of these Irish companies have foreign ownership, i.e. Casa Cuervo as well as Pernod Ricard respectively.

Q: Is it possible for Irish whiskey to have an age statement?

A: Yes, it is. Several Irish whiskeys out there showcase an age statement which ideally, represents the youngest whiskey in the blend. Scotch whiskeys are, in most cases, much more expensive than age-statement Irish whiskeys.

Conclusion

In terms of smoothness and quality, Jameson wins by virtue of its crisp dryness, lovely texture, and therefore, holds the highly coveted and famous Irish whiskey crown. And it shouldn’t be too surprising; that is possibly the reason why it is the best-selling Irish whiskey in the world today, with over 90 percent of its production exported to other countries.

Jameson has held the #1 spot for years, and no other Irish whiskey dares come close. And evidently, Jameson lives beyond St. Patrick’s Day through traditions that are held by people around the world.

Both Jameson and Bushmills can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or with a splash of water. They can be mixed for cocktails as well, and that is why both Irish whiskeys are much loved by fans in the United States and beyond the shores of the country.

However, at local dive bars, family reunions, parties, band practices, in both the happy as well as the wee hours of any morning, Jameson brings people as well as communities together throughout the year!

holtben6

Ben has years of experience with wine, whiskey, and scotch. After becoming a wine sommelier, he decided to focus his attention on the dark southern gold we call whiskey. Now a seasoned vet in the whiskey game, he regularly provides Whiskey Watch with the latest whiskey info and his personal opinion on the best whiskeys in the world.
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