Jameson’s vs. Grant’s Scotch Whisky

I love whiskey and therefore most everything I drink will likely be considered ‘good’, but there are levels of good, and there are certainly times when I like some things more than others.  As I learn to discern these differences at a more conscious level, I thought it would be useful to have something to compare against.  I’d recently bought a 1 liter bottle of Grant’s Whiskey from Trader Joe’s ($10!) and had a regular bottle of Jameson’s that I’d picked up at the airport a few months ago ($21, I believe).  Perhaps tasting them side by side would help me figure out a) what level of good to ascribe to these fine beverages and b) what actual differences in taste there might be.

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My layman’s thought:

Jameson’s, the best selling Irish whiskey in the world, is a smooth, easy to drink whiskey, that is pleasant and doesn’t linger long on my palate.  It probably mixes well in a cocktail and is a fine flexible drink to have around.  If I’m making up a rating scale, I’d probably have to give it a 30/100, simply because I know that while it’s a great drink, there are many many better whiskeys out there.

Grant’s is a far more complex drink, even at $10/liter at Trader Joe’s.  It has a lot more taste to it that will likely turn off the non-whiskey drinker, but if you welcome the taste and go with it, it’s really quite good (especially for the price).  Grant’s makes Glenfiddich and Balvenie as well and has a far more sophisticated website than it’s $10 price might lead you to believe.  Grant’s definitely wins this round.  It doesn’t have quite the smokiness that I prefer in a whiskey, so I might give it a 50/100, reserving the upper reaches of my personal scale for the Ardbeg’s of the world….but it’s a great deal for the price.

- Ravi Iyer

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