St. Patrick's Day is coming once again to Denver and a multitude of green clad folk will storm the streets of downtown in search of green beer and a good time. Known in the U.S. as a day to imbibe as much as possible, little thought is given to true Irish spirits or how to drink them. Jameson, the famous Irish whiskey brand, can provide a better idea of what is appropriate to drink on St. Paddy's day. Lawrence, the local Jameson whiskey brand ambassador and consequentially the local guru for Irish bars, offers a first hand look at some of the best ways to drink Jameson whiskey and some of the best places to drink it in Denver. This Jameson approved pub crawl is the perfect way to celebrate St. Paddy's day. No green beer here; just good whiskey done right.
Beer and a whiskey at the ViewHouse
2015 Market Street, Denver, CO 80202
ViewHouse, opened early in 2013, and in less than a year has become the largest representation of Jameson whiskey here in Denver. Upon walking through the door, you know you are in the right place from the Jameson whiskey barrels decorating the hostess' stand, the stairs, and just about the rest of the place. Lawrence surmised that it was due to the size of the place (two floors, outdoor patio, and rooftop!), the bar tenders' preferred drink of choice (generally Jameson whiskey), and some help from Jameson itself, that the bar has grown to be Jameson's #1 here in Denver.
The drink of choice at the first stop on this Irish whiskey tour is a beer and a whiskey. Simple and straight forward. Irish whiskey is known for its smoothness and Jameson Original is a fine example of a good whiskey that warms its way down but avoids the burn or "gasp" factor. Light golden in color and good on its own, pairing a shot of Original with an IPA makes a fine tasting experience. Everyone has a preferred method of imbibing their spirits, but the urge to pound shots seems to be a more modern American diversion. In Ireland, a shot of whiskey is to be sipped and enjoyed, giving the drinker the chance to fully appreciate the smells and flavors that make a batch of whiskey unique. There is a fine craftsmanship that goes into making Jameson; enjoy it while swapping sips between beer and whiskey for a the chance to appreciate the whiskey itself.
Jameson Black Barrel straight, at the Gin Mill
2041 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
For those who like a little more bite to their whiskey, Black Barrel may be the answer. Blended from distilled barley aged in sherry casks and grain whiskey matured in deep-charred ex-bourbon barrels recycled from Wild Turkey, this whiskey delivers a sweetness that is balanced beautifully with a woody spiciness. Of limited quantity, the Black Barrel reserve is currently only available in certain States, but luckily we have it here in for Denver. Right around the corner from the ViewHouse is the Gin Mill, a small, straight chute of a bar that has been around since before prohibition. Today, the Gin Mill is decorated with hand painted, black and white cinder block walls and is consistently filled with the warm and inviting smell of freshly popped popcorn. The simplistic vibe and low key atmosphere make this bar a unique place to come for a drink. With the smell of popcorn filling your nose and the sweet spice of Jameson Black Barrel on your tongue, this makes a fine second stop on your Jameson tasting journey. When asked, the bartender explained that on St. Patrick's, the only thing they have to do to attract the masses is "...just open the doors."
Jameson, ginger, and lime at Nallen's Irish Pub
1422 Market Street, Denver, CO 80202
Nallen's Irish Pub is the "must go" bar on St. Paddy's day, if only for the fact that it is the oldest Irish pub in Denver. If that weren't enough, Nallen's hosts a variety of activities on St. Patrick's day such as an outdoor tent, dancers, live bagpipers, and more. "Where the green beer is black," this is a bar true to its Irish roots and the walls, heavily coated in Irish signage and all things to do with Irish brands such as Guinness and Jameson, leaves no one in doubt of that. Here the Jameson drink of choice is a clever version of the Moscow mule--but, naturally, here its made with Jameson's Black Barrel whiskey. Served in a copper mug and mixed with ginger ale, ice, and lime, this drink will leave you asking for another round--and maybe even another! Not too sweet and with just the right tang, Jameson, ginger, and lime is, simply put, delicious. Be careful, though; it is also a drink that can let the alcohol sneak up on you. Definitely a must have on St. Patrick's Day, but why wait?
Whiskey infusions at McLaughlin's Restaurant & Bar
2100 16th Street, Denver, CO 80202
The final stop on this Jameson themed pub crawl is McLaughlin's, located on 16th Street. This beautiful and modern restaurant comes complete with a fully stocked bar, open spaces, polished wooden floors, and a welcoming feel. True to the Irish theme, they offer a variety of drinks bearing names like the Irish Snuggler, Hot Toddy, and more. McLaughlin's Jameson claim is that it gets creative and even makes whiskey infusions with flavors such as banana , pumpkin, and more. Generally seasonal in their flavorings and made completely in house, these are a unique and fun experience not typically found on a whiskey tasting adventure.
Drinking Jameson and continuing your tour
John Jameson & Son is an iconic whiskey brand, and is renowned for its quality, smoothness, and taste. Unafraid to tip its hat to other successful liquor makers and daring enough to try different things in the craft of its own spirit, Jameson continually steps forward as the top choice in whiskey. Lawrence could not identify any one specific reason that makes Jameson the number one choice; it simply is. Its simply the best. As it is said, "If they don't like it, they don't like it. But if they like it, they love it." Be sure to try all the styles of Jameson whiskey. Check them out at their webpage to learn all about their history and craft.
Whether you have had Jameson for years or your are new to it, this Jameson approved pub crawl is a great way to discover Jameson. Change your concept of what it means to drink on St. Patrick's day and take the time to enjoy your drink.
This St. Patrick's day, take Jameson's word for it and try out fine Irish whiskey in the best Irish bars in Denver. If, after these four locations and drinks you are still eager for more, then check out the Irish Snug and Maloney's Tavern, two more enjoyable Irish bars.
Enjoy your drink. Drive safe. Happy St. Paddy's Day!