Frequenters of the UK pub chain J.D Wetherspoon with an adventurous nature will probably have seen this: Jeremiah Weed’s Sweet Tea, a vodka that has been flavoured with sweet iced tea. As it was an exclusive for Wetherspoon’s bars, it was with pleasant surprise that I spied a new Jeremiah Weed product in the Food Hall at John Lewis Oxford Street in the form of Jeremiah Ginger Brew.
Some quick research online revealed that, in addition to the two products mentioned above, a third is also available: Jeremiah Weed Sour Mash. Following a short conversation with some splendid people, I found myself in possession of these newest additions to the line, as well as a rather funky piece of glassware to enjoy them from.
A Little Background on Jeremiah Weed
The first part of the story is rather incredible, so here is a quote taken directly from their website:
“In the 70s, two fighter pilots discovered Jeremiah Weed after surviving a plane crash during a routine mission. Ever since then, every USAF fighter squadron has a lounge where the pilots sometimes gather for a cold beer after the flying day is over. Every refrigerator in each of those lounges contains a chilled bottle of a 100-proof product called Jeremiah Weed. For special occasions, and sometimes for no reason at all, someone will bring out the Weed, fill a shot glass for each person present, and propose a toast.”
In the early 1980s, a Jeremiah Weed bourbon liqueur was created and sold in the hills of eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, an area with a long history of whiskey production. The Sweet Tea has been trialled in Wetherspoons in the UK for the last two years, but 2012 saw the launch of two new beverages designed specifically for the UK market.
Jeremiah Weed Root Brew
Bottled at 4%ABV this had an intriguing nose of sweet ginger, sarsaparilla and malt. To taste, it had quite a rich texture and, like the Sour Mash brew, a medium-low level of fizz. The ginger was definitely there, along with some herbal and citrus notes. Not too sweet, it was quite refreshing on its own, even without ice. The finish had reasonable fire to it.
Once ice was added, I found that the fire became far more restrained and, as a result, the drink became more refreshing. It was nice served with a lemon wedge.
Overall, this was well-balanced and easy-to-drink.
Jeremiah Weed Sour Mash
Bottled at 4% ABV, the Sour Mash brew is a bourbon flavoured drink. It contains a mix of fruit alcohol and real bourbon, as well as some other flavours.
Cool and refreshing, it has a medium-low fizz. The initial flavour that hit my palette was a slight bready maltiness, but what I found most surprising was that – just after that initial flavour – you can really taste the bourbon. If someone had given this to me, I would have probably thought that it was a long bourbon drink. There was a good, natural sweetness and lots of woody notes. I found it easy to drink and very refreshing. The finish had a slightly acidic, citrus note, similar to pineapple juice, which then faded into a vanilla creaminess.
I like both of the products. The Root Brew plays nicely with the recent increase in the public palette for ginger flavoured products. Having said this, the Sour Mash was certainly my favourite of the two; I liked how it’s both quite different and much better than any other bottled, long bourbon drinks out there.
Jeremiah Weed Brews are available at selected Asda and Waitrose stores for around £2.50 for 500ml; for more details check their Facebook Page.