Color: light amber
Nose: Sunkist orange soda, mild medicinal twinge, slight spice
Taste: orange, granulated white sugar, mild cloves
Finish: quick and sweet
Value: if you’re buying this, do you have any?
Let’s just get this out of the way now:
Jameson Orange is not whiskey. It’s not whisky, either. It’s a liqueur. At 60 proof (aka 30% alcohol by volume) this stuff is less potent than Grand Marnier or Cointreau. Even Stillhouse Apple Crisp packs a bigger punch.
Ok, now that we’ve covered that essential bit of business, this review goes out to Anthony Henning, without whom, this review would not exist. And, it goes out to: Leslie, the other Leslie, Don, Susy, and Jim. I told you I’d be back!
If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that I’m not a whiskey snob. I’m not even opposed to flavored whiskey. (Crown Royal Salted Caramel, Hotchstadter’s Low & Slow “Rock and Rye”, and Prichard’s Sweet Lucy REALLY nail the flavored whiskey category.)
While I’d love to poke at Jameson’s marketing machine for the label on this concoction, I can’t fault them. If this stuff actually does contain classic Jameson whiskey, with orange flavors and what-I-can-only-imagine-is-a-f***ton-of-sugar, good on them! However, Let’s Not Mince Words:
Jameson Orange is missing what we’d all expect: the taste of Jameson.-The Boozeguru
As you’ll remember, I called Jameson Irish Whiskey THE Best Cheap Whiskey. It’s vibrant (if a bit metallic) with notes of honey, cream cracker, vanilla and orange peel. (Or, if you’d rather: shortbread cookie with an orange peel twist.) If offered a glass of Jameson, I would never complain, and never refuse.
And if this stuff had classic Jameson in its scent or flavor profile, I’d be pretty damn happy. But it doesn’t. And I’m not.
The nose is almost all over-sweetened orange soda. There’s a medicinal scent and a touch of nondescript spice if you go in for a deep dive, but there no nuances. If there’s Jameson in there, the orange has killed its classic scent.
The taste is orange. Very sweet orange. Yes, there is a mild hint of cloves towards the finish, but the sweetened orange dominates. Again, where is the Jameson? If you can taste anything other than sweet orange and the slightest of spices, you’re trying REALLY hard.
Mouthfeel is thin; not much viscosity.
And the finish is as you’d expect: short and sweet.
I’ve gone in for a second, third, fourth, and fifth sip… and no: it doesn’t get any better.
I completely understand the brand’s desire to diversify. Their “Cold Brew” offering really does taste like coffee, but it’s a coffee liqueur. And while Jameson Orange really does taste like oranges, it does not taste like Jameson.
If you hate whiskey and really love oranges, you might like this. If you feel the need to craft a Screwdriver that tastes only of oranges, this should work instead of vodka. But I squarely reject the idea of tossing a shot of this stuff into a glass of lemon-lime soda. Gads, adding more processed sugar to this thing? Are you trying to get the world’s worst hangover?
Now, I’ll finish by asking this:
Is it worthwhile to diversify your offerings if your offerings completely kill your brand identity?
I’d say no. But hey, I’m not under intense stockholder pressure.
Final Rating: 71 out of 100