Tullamore Dew vs Jameson – Which is the Best Irish Whiskey Brand?

Whiskey is a complex alcoholic beverage class that has rightfully carved out its own path within the spirits world since it was first introduced onto the scene. What makes whiskey so different from other types of alcohol is that it infuses the essence of nature throughout its entire production process instead of being tightly controlled in an artificial environment or laboratory.

Each whiskey variety that you find on shelves has its own unique taste and flavor that adds a sense of personality to each bottle that is sold. For those who have experience drinking whiskey, you know that there are various undertones and nuances that you have to pay attention to if you expect to get the full experience of the whiskey that you purchase.

There are a lot of different whiskey brands and distillers located all throughout the United States and worldwide. The difference between all of these various distilleries is that those located outside of the United States must adhere to different labeling and bottling regulations as opposed to the distillers who are located inside of the US. One place that has become world-renowned for the high-quality whiskey varieties is Ireland.

whiskey glasses

Ireland is home to a very special kind of whiskey most commonly known as Irish whiskey. Irish whiskey is far different from other whiskey varieties that you will find and this is due to a number of different reasons.

Some of the distinct factors that differentiate Irish whiskey from other variants are the malt used in the production of the drink, the type of barley used in its distillation process, and the distillation method used to produce the liquor.

Even past those factors, there are some similarities that Irish whiskey shares with other varieties out there such as having similar taste profiles. When it comes to choosing the right whiskey type for your preferred taste and flavor profile, there are several different brands for you to choose from.

Two of the most popular Irish whiskey brands currently out on the market are Tullamore Dew & Jameson, both of these brands have rich histories in the Whiskey industry which is why they are the go-to choice for many whiskey drinkers till this very day.

If you’ve been looking for the right Irish whiskey variety that has all of the unique tasting notes and flavors that you enjoy but hasn’t been able to find the perfect fit, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we’re going to go over all of the main differences and unique attributes about both of these whiskey brands so that you will be able to make an educated decision about which one is right for you. To begin, let’s take a look at some of the brief history behind both companies so that you will be able to better understand how they became the trusted names that they are today.

History Behind the Company: Tullamore Dew & Jameson

Whether you realize it or not, every liquor company especially whiskey distilleries tends to have some very deep and rich stories which document the progress of the company and it’s drink selections.

While the history of these companies will not directly impact your purchase decision, they will allow you to understand how the brand came to develop their signature taste and flavor options. In the following section, we’re going to give you a detailed view of some of the histories behind both of these whiskey brands so make sure you read it in full.

Tullamore Dew History

tullamore dew

The first Tullamore Dew distillery was opened in 1829 after the actual drink itself was developed by Daniel E. Williams who is the creator of the spirit. Williams’s grandson Desmond Williams took over the family business from his grandfather and continued to build on his legacy by releasing Ireland’s first-ever blended whiskey selection.

In 2014, 60 years after the first original distillery location was opened in Tullamore town, the company opened a new distillery located in the same spot that the original one was located so that the spirit and history of the family business can live on in Ireland forever.

Today, Tullamore Dew is still producing high-quality whiskey options using various recipes and combinations that provide its drinkers with a vast selection of different options to choose from.

Jameson History

Jameson was started by Jon Jameson in 1780 when he discovered a new and unique method for distilling and producing Irish whiskey. The company has over 200yrs of experience distilling smooth and refined whiskey selections that taste great with many food combinations or alone.

The company has been distilling Irish whiskey through the Irish civil war, two separate world wars, and through the American prohibition era which shows the amount of resilience that the brand and whiskey carry.

All of their whiskey selections produced by Jameson are made with locally grown ingredients that included both unmalted and malted barley. Each selection offered by the brand is made using a triple distillation process which ensures that you get a smooth and bold taste out of every bottle.

The whiskey is then aged in oak barrels after being distilled which infuses the whiskey with a deep and rich taste. The oak casks are provided to the company by various high-quality vendors from Spain and the United States so you can rest easy knowing that you’re drinking a premium whiskey selection.

Now that we’ve gone over some of the most important historical information about both of these Irish whiskey brands

The Main Difference Between Tullamore Dew & Jameson

When looking at both of these whiskey brands, there are some core differences related to their overall flavor profile and taste that you will want to take into consideration before making your final purchase decision.

In the following section, we’re going to go over all of the main differences between the way that both of these Irish whiskey brands are produced so that you can decide on which brand provides the taste and flavor profiles that you’re most interested in.

Tullamore Dew

Jameson

  • Single grain recipe

  • Single malt recipe

  • Produced in different distilleries

  • Ex-bourbon & ex-sherry cask type

  • Single pot blend included in the final mix

  • Beeswax aroma

  • Made in a single distillery

  • Aged in oak barrels

  • Lemon peel, honey, and cinnamon flavors

  • 40% Alcohol by Volume

As you can see from looking at the table above, these two Irish whiskey brands have very different traits and attribute that impact the final taste and flavor you’ll experience when drinking them. Each of these unique variables and elements is what makes each brand distinct from one another, you can tell a lot about a whiskey just by looking at simple information such as what’s in this table.

Based on your prior tasting preferences and desired flavor profile, you can accurately match the production process of any Irish whiskey with the final taste that you’ll experience once it’s in the bottle.

If you’re trying to avoid wasting money on whiskey options that are simply not up to par according to your standards, you should consider reading the labels on all of the brands that you’re interested in to learn more about the various processes, ingredients, and techniques used in its production process.

Now that we’ve gone over some of the main differences between both of these Irish whiskey brands, it’s time to take a look at the core profile of each brand.

Core Profile: Tullamore Dew vs. Jameson

jameson

Aside from all of the differences that we mentioned above, both of these brands have very distinctive tastes and flavor profiles that select drinkers will enjoy.

It can be easy to trick yourself into thinking that every whiskey label doesn’t really mean much in terms of the drink that you’ll taste when opening the bottle however this couldn’t be further from the truth. Every single Irish whiskey variety that you find on store shelves will contain many of the same ingredients such as barley, rye, malt, etc.

However, the unique additions added to every mixture is what separates them from one another. Once the Irish whiskey mash bill meets all of the legal requirements to be properly labeled, distillers can use virtually add any other ingredients into their mixtures that they desire. Because of this, you will have an array of different options to choose from in terms of taste and flavor.

To be able to distinguish all of the different flavor combinations and taste profiles that come with Irish whiskey varieties, you will have to learn how to discern what flavor elements have the most impact on the drink when compared to the base ingredients that are included in every whiskey mash bill.

This skill is an acquired on that can take serious whiskey drinkers years to master, however, for the purposes of helping you make a decision as quickly as possible, we’re going to provide you with an in-depth look at all of the main flavors elements and taste profiles that you can expect to encounter when choosing between both of these prominent Irish whiskey brands.

Tullamore Dew Core Profile

Tullamore Dew is classified as a traditional classically blended Irish whiskey that is respected in the industry as being a top-shelf selection. This drink is perfect for those who enjoy whiskey on the rocks and can also be combined with some of your other favorite mixers to create unique and robust flavor combinations.

The overall tasting profile of this brand is very heavy and dense which is something that not many whiskey brands can pull off.

Below, we’re going to take an in-depth look at exactly what elements this whiskey selection contains and how they impact its overall flavor.

  • Blend: Irish grain whiskey/ Irish single malt whiskey
  • Aging: Varies depending on the specific selection in question
  • Alcohol by Volume concentration: 40%
  • Cask Type: ex-Sherry & ex-Bourbon
  • Eye: Toffee

Main Tasting Elements

1. Nose

The nose on this whiskey has hints of banana chips and toffee infused throughout, these flavors add nice opposing elements to the primary flavor profile which adds a sense of personality and depth to the bottle. It also has dried fruit and red apples infused into its mixture which adds a clean and refreshing taste that is subtle yet rich.

You will also find traces of honey and a malty flavor that comes as a result of the main distillation process and ingredients used to create the drink selection. This Irish whiskey blend is also made using a special technique known as chill-filtering which gives the whiskey an extra edge in terms of taste and flavor.

The nose of this whiskey is very complex which is something that you won’t find in many other whiskey selections on store shelves today.

2. Palate

The palate on this whiskey is very robust as it contains notes of honey, banana chips, earthly malt flavors, nutmeg, cinnamon, and toffee. All of the ingredients create a very subtle yet warm and encapsulating taste to the overall body of the whiskey.

The palate also contains red apple flavors which help to balance and offset the strong flavors that you experience in other parts of the mixture. What sets this palate apart from other Irish whiskey options is that it has a strong presence of earthly tones which add depth and a dark complexity that is nearly non-existent on the market today.

3. Finish

The finish on this whiskey fades out in a moderate sense and leaves behind tastes of dried fruit, spice, toffee, and malt that are great-tasting and very pleasant on the tongue. The finish is very prominent however it is not overpowering which makes it the perfect selection for those that are looking for a bold yet less harsh whiskey that is full of robust and full flavors.

4. Body

This whiskey variety has a nicely balanced body that contains elements of a medium heftiness in addition to a soft and silky feel that makes it go down the tongue pleasantly and smoothly. The body in combination with all of the other elements that are infused into this selection throughout its production process combines to make a very nice quality whiskey that can go well with almost anything.

Overall Profile

All in all, this whiskey is very robust, complex, and full of flavors that provide a very unique drink option that cannot compare to any other selections currently available.

The historical depth and importance of this brand as it relates to bringing Irish whiskey to the forefront of the market is undeniable and can be felt in each sip that you take from every bottle. If you’re looking for a whiskey that can be mixed with non-alcoholic beverages, this is a great option for you to choose from.

Jameson Core Profile

jameson bottle

All Jameson whiskey selections are made using a triple distillation method which ensures that you always drink a refined and smooth selection. This distillation process removes any impurities which may be inside of the mix before it goes to the aging and bottling process.

This brand is classified as a blended Irish whiskey which basically means that grain whiskey is added to the malt whiskey blend which adds more texture and depth to the drink overall. All of the varieties offered by Jameson are very rich in texture and flavor which is why the brand has been able to remain such a powerhouse in the whiskey industry for all these years.

Below, we’re going to take an in-depth look at exactly what elements this whiskey selection contains and how they impact its overall flavor.

  • Blend: Irish grain whiskey/ Irish single malt whiskey
  • Aging: Varies depending on the variety
  • Alcohol by Volume concentration: 40%
  • Eye: Pale Gold

Main Tasting Elements

1. Nose

The nose on this particular brand has a very pronounced scent of grain alcohol that permeates its aroma the minute you open the bottle. Once the heavy grain alcohol smell leaves, you will notice hints of pear, honey, and orchard fruit which combine to add a nice fruity blend and taste to this selection that can be experienced throughout the entire bottle.

You will also notice traces of malt and citrus in the nose in addition to a light “dust” quality that can be felt throughout the contents of the bottle. It has a very strange nose that incorporates vastly different ingredients which add a unique sense of taste and personality.

2. Palate

The palate on this whiskey is very clean and light, it initiates its main flavor profile by giving you hints of vanilla and malt that contrast nicely to add a smooth and delicate taste to the overall blend.

Behind all of those flavors, you will notice a slight hint of ripe citrus that adds a nice acidic base and undertone to the whiskey mix. There are also some grassy notes found throughout the main profile in addition to cocoa which provide the base for the dark undertones and potent hints that are commonly found in Irish whiskey varieties.

At the end of the palate, you will find hints of strong banana flavors mixed with citrus that make a bold statement when compared to the other flavor elements infused into this mix. In the very back of this whiskey, you will find a hint of caramel lingering around which smooths offer the other heavy and pronounced flavors throughout the rest of the drink.

3. Body

This whiskey has a very smooth and lightweight body that is clean and refreshing while at the same time being very strong and prominent. This interesting combination is very special and is what makes the brand something truly unique when compared to other options on the market. It’s very easy to drink and goes down smooth which is nice given the very strong flavors readily found in this whiskey selection.

4. Finish

After it goes down, this whiskey has a very nice finish that leaves hints of straight alcohol and malt on your tongue. This whiskey has a well-balanced finish that includes hints of earthy tones and oak which is primarily derived from the barrels used to age the whiskey. The finish is also very short and soft so you don’t have to worry about a “tint” or “film” that is left on your tongue after drinking.

These are the core tasting elements and flavor profiles that you can expect when picking up either of these brands to drink. As you can see, both of these Irish whiskey brands have very different characteristics and ingredients which add to their overall tastes, body, finish, and much more.

Depending on what your preferred tasting notes are, both of these whiskey brands provide enough versatility and complexity to meet the desired drinking style of virtually any Irish whiskey fan. By taking the time to not only read but actually take in all of the information that we’ve covered above, you will be able to make the right decision about which one of these whiskey brands is right for you within no time.

Now that we’ve gone over all of the main tasting notes, flavor profiles, and other attributes that both of these brands have to offer, it’s time to give you our honest opinion about which one we feel is the best tasting and highest quality.

Our Decision

tullamore

Rating and judging whiskey quality is a very subjective practice given the fact that everyone will base their own decision upon personal beliefs and preferences. However, that isn’t to say that judging a whiskey using purely analytical evidence is impossible because it isn’t.

When trying to assess the overall quality and taste of a whiskey, there are some key factors that you can look for to determine whether or not it should be considered a “good whiskey.”One of the main things that we take into consideration before making our final decision is the overall taste quality and flavoring aspect of the particular spirit in question.

While both Jameson and Tullamore Dew have strong flavor profiles and unique tasting attributes, we found Tullamore Dew to have more of a prominent and refined taste when compared to Jameson which is why it wins our ranking for the best taste out of the two.

When it comes to how well the overall mixture is balanced and the way that each individual ingredient plays off of one another, Jameson wins the battle due to the fact that it has a more deepened and seasoned flavor that seems to be more embedded into the core attributes of the drink throughout the bottle instead of being hits of flavors that you experience at particular moments while drinking.

While the final decision is ultimately up to you in terms of which whiskey brand you feel will meet your specific taste requirements more, we like Tullamore Dew over Jameson. Keep in mind that this is purely based on the quality we experienced with both of these drinks; our decision is not based on any personal influences of beliefs.

At the end of the day, you’re spending money on alcohol so you should always choose the drink that you feel you would enjoy the most regardless of what we or anyone else thinks. Now that we’ve covered what our honest opinion is in regards to which whiskey brand is better, it’s time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions that people have when it comes to Irish whiskey in general.

FAQs

In the following section, we’re going to go over some of the most commonly asked questions that people have when it comes to Irish whiskey and what makes it so special when compared to other types of whiskey drinks commonly found in stores.

Q: How long is Irish whiskey aged?

A: Irish whiskey is required to be aged for a minimum of 3yrs before it can be bottled and sold on store shelves.

Q: How many times is Irish whiskey distilled?

A: Irish whiskey undergoes a triple distillation process which ensures that all impurities are removed from the final batch.

Q: Is there a minimum ABV rating for Irish whiskey?

A: Most Irish whiskey drinks have an ABV of about 40% although that can change all depending on the particular type of selection being produced.

Alternative Recommendations

#1 Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey

dead rabbit irish whiskey

Dead Rabbit Irish whiskey is a blended whiskey variety that contains Irish single malt and grain whiskey combinations. It goes well with a variety of different mixers making it perfect for cocktails and the bottle is beautifully crafted.

#2 Redbreast 15yr Irish Whisky

Redbreast 15yr Irish Whisky

Redbreast 15yr Irish whiskey is a very fruity and velvety whiskey selection that has a nice robust and full flavor profile that includes some very distinctive tasting notes. It also has just the right amount of oak flavoring infused into its mix to pleasantly round off all of the other very earth heavy notes you find throughout its main tasting body.

#3 Powers Gold Label Whiskey

powers

Powers Gold Label whiskey contains hints of golden raisins, honey, and hay which provide a very light and nicely balanced whiskey selection. This whiskey is perfect for making cocktails and can go with virtually any meal without disrupting its quality or taste.

Conclusion

We’ve covered all of the most important information and facts that you need to know about both of these whiskey brands so that you can make an educated decision about which one of them will provide you with the taste and flavor profile that you expect. Before going out to purchase either of these brands, make sure you read this entire guide in full so that you will be able to enjoy your selection.

Recommended Reads:

  • We are constantly on a Whiskey Watch to make reviews about the best whiskeys out there and help you out to find your next favorite, so here you can check all about Bushmills, Jack Daniels versus Jameson. Also, here you can find everything about the Irish Whiskey and how to make the best selection…

Ben Holt

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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